Year of publication
- English (28) (remove)
- Corporate governance in Germany : system and recent developments (1993)
- The following descriptive overview of the German corporate governance system and the current debate is structured as follows. Part II will give some information on the empirical background. Part III will describe the formal legal setting as well as actual practices in some key areas. Part IV will then deal with some issues of the current debate.
- Corporate contracting around defective regulations : the Daimler-Chrysler case (1998)
- The article describes the legal structure of the Daimler-Chrysler merger. It asks why this specific structure rather than another cheaper way was chosen. This leads to the more general question of the pros and cons of mandatory corporate law as a regulatory device. The article advocates an "optional" approach: The legislator should offer various menus or sets of binding rules among which the parties may choose. (JEL: ...)
- Should banks own industrial firms? : Remarks from the German perspective (1992)
- Other than in Belgium, German banks may hold even controlling equity participations in industrial firms (and such firms may own banks) and do so to a large extent. Vis-a-vis the European development this leads to two questions: From the perspective of the (Belgian and other) competitors of these banks, whether their own domestic System might be disadvantageous to them. And from a public interest perspective, which advantages and drawbacks are connected with the different regulations in Europe. The article first informs about the legal framework and some statistical facts. Then the various and different reasons why banks acquire and hold shares on own account are analyzed. The following Parts deal with the various public policy arguments whether equity links between banks and industrial firms should be prohibited or not (safety and soundness of banking; autonomie de Ia fonction bancaire ; abuse of confidential information and conflicts of interest; antitrust considerations; negative and positive impacts on the respective firm). In its last part the article deals with recent proposals in the German political debate to limit stockholdings of banks. The article argues that a step-by-step approach to the Single Problems and issues (conflict of interests; anticompetitive effects etc.) should be preferred to a general limitation of stock ownership of banks.
- General meetings in listed companies : new challenges and opportunities (2000)
- The issues that are discussed in the following derive from consultations with Member states of the OECD during the June 2000 preparatory meeting. Paper, prepared for the OECD Conference "Company Law Reform in OECD Countries: A Comparative Outlook on Current Trends Stockholm", Dec. 7-8, 2000.
- Corporate governance systems in Europe : differences and tendencies of convergence ; Crafoord lecture (1996)
- The corporate governance systems in Europe differ markedly. Economists tend to use stylized models and distinguish between the Anglo-American, the German and the Latinist model.1 In this view, for instance, the Austrian, Dutch, German, and Swiss systems are said to be variations of one model. For lawyers the picture is of course, much more detailed as particular rules may vary even where common principles prevail. Many comparative studies on these differences have been undertaken meanwhile.2 I do not want to add another study but to treat a different question. Are there as a consequence of growing internationalization, globalization of markets and technological change, also tendencies of convergence of our corporate governance systems? My answer will be in two parts. As corporate governance systems are traditionally mainly shaped by legislation, the first part will analyze the influence of the economic and technological change on the rule-setting process itself. How does this process react to the fundamental environmental change? That includes a short analysis of the solution of centralized harmonizing of company law within the EU as well as the question of whether EU-wide competition between national corporate law legislators can be observed or be expected in the future. The second part will then turn to the national level. It deals with actual tendencies of convergence or, more correctly, of approach by the German corporate governance system to the Anglo-American one.
- Shareholder voting in Germany (1999)
- Shareholder voting is back on the agenda of public debate for several reasons. One is the investors’ internationalization of capital investments and the raising of funds globally by companies. It can be predicted that considering the growing together of capital markets the trend to international investments will increase not least because the introduction of the Euro will create a uniform European stock market. This leads to the question how the law deals with this development and its problems. The EU Commission has commissioned a comparative study dealing, inter alia, with shareholders’ representation at general meetings in the EU member states.1 The aim is to simplify the operating regulations for public limited companies in the EU. Furthermore, the internationalization of shareholdings leads the investors to ask how their interests are protected abroad. Are the mechanisms of shareholder protection sufficient for foreign investors? In particular the formation of transnational companies like Daimler-Chrysler will change corporate governance systems. It remains to be seen whether and how foreign institutional investors will use measures of - in this case - German corporate law to control the management. From a microeconomic point of view the question is what specific features of a given corporate governance system might contribute to better performance of firms. The following remarks will however, be confined to one specific aspect of corporate governance only, the exercise of shareholders’ voting rights at the general meeting.
- The European Model Company Law Act project (2008)
- On 27 and 28 September 2007, a commission formed on the initiative of the authors held its first meeting in Aarhus, Denmark to deliberate on its goal of drafting a "European Model Company Law Act" (EMCLA). This project, outlined in the following pages, aims neither to force a mandatory harmonization of national company law nor to create a further, European corporate form. The goal is rather to draft model rules for a corporation that national legislatures would be free to adopt in whole or in part. Thus, the project is thought as an alternative and supplement to the existing EU instruments for the convergence of company law. The present EU instruments, their prerequisites and limits will be discussed in more detail in Part II, below. Part III will examine the US experience with such "model acts" in the area of company law. Part IV will then conclude by discussing several topics concerning the content of an EMCLA, introducing the members of the EMCLA Working Group, and explaining the Group's preliminary working plan.
- European company law beyond the 2003 action plan (2007)
- This paper will sketch out some of the developments in European company law as seen from the current moment, which might be referred to as post- 2003 Action Plan, and from my purely personal viewpoint. I will thus restrict myself to presenting the current and expected legislative projects of the EU, with particular focus on the plans and activities of the Commission, and for the moment bracket out both a number of important and interesting decisions of the European Court of Justice and the debates among European legal scholars.