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Incentives to Corporate Governance Activism

  • Leech, Dennis

    (University of Warwick)

This paper considers incentives faced by investors (financial institutions) to become actively involved in the governance of under-performing companies in their portfolio as recently proposed. By considering the private benefits and the costs of investor activism separately, it questions the conventional wisdom -based on simplistic agency theory - that share ownership is so widely held in the UK that such incentives are too weak for shareholder activism to be a rational basis of a system of corporate governance. It finds that in many cases, by contrast, these incentives would be very strong indeed if conflicts of interest could be avoided.

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 133.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:133
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  1. Leech, Dennis, 1987. "Ownership Concentration and the Theory of the Firm: A Simple-Game-Theoretic Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 225-40, March.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
  3. Charkham, Jonathan & Simpson, Anne, 1999. "Fair Shares: The Future of Shareholder Power and Responsibility," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292142.
  4. Leech, Dennis & Leahy, John, 1991. "Ownership Structure, Control Type Classifications and the Performance of Large British Companies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1418-37, November.
  5. Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Corporate Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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