Deconstructing Independent Directors

44 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2012

See all articles by María Gutiérrez Urtiaga

María Gutiérrez Urtiaga

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid-Departamento de Economía de la Empresa; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Maria Isabel Sáez Lacave

Universidad autonoma de Madrid, Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

In this paper we argue that boards of directors lack the mandate, the incentives and the ability to control insiders, especially in jurisdictions where the main agency problem arises between controlling and minority shareholders. We analyze the problems that render independents an inefficient monitoring device for companies with concentrated ownership structures and conclude that the current focus of the regulators and codes of best practice on empowering independents is ineffective and companies would be better off choosing their board members at liberty. Nevertheless, we also present two different proposals for reform: independents as gatekeepers for the regulator and independents as surrogates of the minority. Both proposals are based on the idea that if independent directors are expected to monitor controlling shareholders their most important characteristic should be accountability rather than mere independence.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Keywords: Independent Directors, Board of Directors, Concentrated Ownership, Monitoring, Corporate Law

Suggested Citation

Gutiérrez Urtiaga, María and Sáez Lacave, Maria Isabel, Deconstructing Independent Directors (April 2012). InDret, Vol. 2, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2078318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2078318

María Gutiérrez Urtiaga (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid-Departamento de Economía de la Empresa ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain
+34-91 624 58 40 (Phone)
+34-91 624 96 07 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Maria Isabel Sáez Lacave

Universidad autonoma de Madrid, Faculty of Law ( email )

C/ Kelsen 1
Madrid, 28049
Spain

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

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