The End of History for Anglo-Saxon Outsider Corporate Governance: Are We All French Now?
LES DÉFIS ACTUELS DE DROIT FINANCIER, pp. 75-103, Alain Couret, C. Malecki, eds., Joly editions, 2010
39 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010
Date Written: October 31, 2010
Until the financial crisis that began in Autumn 2008, insider systems of corporate governance such as France’s were regarded by both academics and policy makers as laggards in need of reform. Now, as the financial crisis has ravaged the Anglo-Saxon outsider model, so lauded until recently, the French corporate model has come to be regarded in a much more positive light and actively advocated by President Sarkozy as a global corporate model the world might mimic. However, the traditional French statist model has been subject to significant reform over the past 30 years. This has fuelled claims that France has been converging to an Anglo-Saxon corporate model and makes pinning down the 21st Century French model a less than straightforward task. In order to do this, over the course of this article we examine the core elements of the French corporate governance system and find that despite significant reform there is still a distinctive French model. Indeed, it is still largely a statist one but with elements of outsider shareholder orientation. Thus we doubt that the French system of corporate governance is converging to an Anglo-Saxon model and in turn whether President Sarkozy’s stated aim of exporting the French corporate governance system is feasible to any significant degree given the resilience of corporate governance systems.
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