The Corporate Governance at LSE Programme aims to develop a wide portfolio of research projects targeting corporate governance issues at both UK and international levels.
Corporate governance has improved considerably over the last decade. This is due, in part, to regulatory changes and more stringent listing rules, and partly, to a wider understanding of the importance of good corporate governance for the welfare of the firm and society.
However, there are still many unresolved issues. Looking to the US, recent problems have stemmed in particular from board level monitoring failures, the under-evaluation and overpayment of options and the inability of corporate governance institutions to deal with weaknesses in the auditing process. Europe has faced different problems. Short-term earnings manipulation and excessive stock option awards have been much less important than in the US. The main issues, especially in continental Europe, relate to the protection of minority shareholders, the independence and fiduciary responsibilities of boards, and the failure to develop activism for corporate control. A big question for the future is how far these problems should be tackled by legislation and attendant regulation, and whether initiated at the national or European Union level. In the UK, there are still a number of issues relating to the fine-tuning of the Combined Code, Investor Activism by Hedge Funds and the advantages of Private Equity.
The Corporate Governance at LSE Programme aims to make a contribution to these debates. We undertake publications, conferences, targeted research projects and seminars, roundtable discussions and other activities specifically designed to facilitate interaction with practitioners, policy makers and researchers. We envisage the development of a regular forum that will become an established and influential actor in corporate governance developments in the UK and Europe.