Year of publication
- English (28) (remove)
- 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.
- Changing patterns of corporate disclosure in continental Europe : the example of Germany (2002)
- This article presents a structural overview of corporate disclosure in Germany against the background of a rapidly evolving European market. Professor Baums first makes the theoretical case for mandatory disclosure and outlines the standard, regulatory elements of market transparency. He then turns to German law and illustrates both how it attempts to meet the principle, theoretical demands of disclosure and how it should be improved. The article also presents in some detail the actual channels of corporate disclosure used in Germany and the manner in which German law now fits into the overall development of the broader, European Community scheme, as well as the contemplated changes and improvements both at the national and the supranational level.
- Company Law Reform in Germany (2002)
- The paper was submitted to the conference on company law reform at the University of Cambridge, July 4th, 2002. Since the introduction of corporation laws in the individual German states during the first half of the 19th Century, Germany has repeatedly amended and reformed its company law. Such reforms and amendments were prompted in part by stock exchange fraud and the collapse of large corporations, but also by a routine adjustment of law to changing commercial and societal conditions. During the last ten years, a series of significant changes to German company law led one commentator to speak from a "company law in permanent reform." Two years ago, the German Federal Chancellor established a Regierungskommission Corporate Governance ("Government Commission on Corporate Governance") and instructed it to examine the German Corporate Governance system and German company law as a whole, and formulate recommendations for reform.
- 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.
- Taking shareholder protection seriously? : Corporate governance in the United States and Germany (2003)
- The paper undertakes a comparative study of the set of laws affecting corporate governance in the United States and Germany, and an evaluation of their design if one assumes that their objective were the protection of the interests of minority outside shareholders. The rationale for such an objective is reviewed, in terms of agency cost theory, and then the institutions that serve to bound agency costs are examined and critiqued. In particular, there is discussion of the applicable legal rules in each country, the role of the board of directors, the functioning of the market for corporate control, and (briefly) the use of incentive compensation. The paper concludes with the authors views on what taking shareholder protection seriously, in each country s legal system, would require.