- Understanding director’s pay in Europe : a comparative and empirical analysis (2009)
- This paper analyses the regulatory framework which applies to the determination of directors’ remuneration in Europe and examines the extent to which European firms follow best practices in corporate governance in this area, drawing on an empirical analysis of the governance systems that European firms adopt in setting remuneration and, in particular, on an empirical assessment of their diverging approaches to disclosure. These divergences persist despite recent reforms. After an examination of the link between optimal remuneration, corporate governance and regulation and an assessment of how regulatory reform has evolved in this area, the paper provides an overview of national laws and best practice corporate governance recommendations across the Member States, following the adoption of the important EC Recommendations on directors’ remuneration and on the role of non-executive directors in 2004 and 2005, respectively. This overview is largely based on the answers to questionnaires sent to legal experts from seventeen European Member States. The paper also provides an empirical analysis of governance practices and, in particular, firm disclosure of directors’ remuneration in Europe’s largest 300 listed firms by market capitalisation. The paper reveals that, notwithstanding a swathe of reforms across the Member States in recent years and related harmonisation efforts, disclosure levels still vary from country to country and are strongly dependent on the existence of regulations and best practice guidelines in the firm’s home Member State. Convergence in disclosure practices is not strong; only a few basic standards are followed by the majority of the firms examined and there is strong divergence with respect to most of the criteria considered in the study. Consistent with previous research, our study reveals clear differences not only with respect to remuneration disclosure, but also with respect to shareholder engagement and the board’s role in the remuneration process and in setting remuneration guidelines. Ownership structures still ‘matter’; these divergences tend to follow different corporate governance systems and, in particular, the dispersed ownership/block-holding ownership divide. They do not appear to have been smoothed since the EC Company Law Action Plan was launched and notwithstanding the harmonisation that has been attempted in this field. Keywords: Directors’ remuneration, corporate governance, disclosure, European regulation JEL Classifications: G30, G38, J33, K22, M52
- One share - one vote : a european rule? (2006)
- In this paper, I tackle the question whether one share - one vote should become a European law rule. I examine, first of all, the economic theory concerning one share - one vote and its optimality, and the law and economics literature on dual class recapitalizations and other deviations from one share - one vote. I also consider the agency costs of deviations from one share - one vote and examine whether they justify regulation. I subsequently analyze the rules implementing the one share - one vote standard in the US and Europe. In particular, I analyze the self-regulatory rules of US exchanges, the relevant provisions of the European Takeover Directive (including the well known break-through rule), and the European Court of Justice's position as to golden shares (which also are deviations from the one share - one vote standard). I conclude that one share - one vote is not justified by economic efficiency, as also confirmed by comparative law. Also the European breakthrough rule, which ultimately strikes down all deviations from one share - one vote, does not appear to be well grounded. Only transparency rules appear to be justified at EU level as disclosure of ownership and voting structures serves a pricing and governance function, while harmonisation of the relevant rules reduces transaction costs in integrated markets.
- Contract standards and the markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID) : an assessment of the lamfalussy regulatory architecture (2005)
- "In this paper, I analyse the conduct of business rules included in the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFID) which has replaced the Investment Services Directive (ISD). These rules, in addition to being part of the regulation of investment intermediaries, operate as contractual standards in the relationships between intermediaries and their clients. While the need to harmonise similar rules is generally acknowledged, in the present paper I ask whether the Lamfalussy regulatory architecture, which governs securities lawmaking in the EU, has in some way improved regulation in this area. In section II, I examine the general aspects of the Lamfalussy process. In section III, I critically analyse the MiFID s provisions on conduct of business obligations, best execution of transactions and client order handling, taking into account the new regime of trade internalisation by investment intermediaries and the ensuing competition between these intermediaries and market operators. In sectionIV, I draw some general conclusions on the re-regulation made under the Lamfalussy regulatory structure and its limits. In this section, I make a few preliminary comments on the relevance of conduct of business rules to contract law, the ISD rules of conduct and the role of harmonisation."