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The Impact of Institutional Investors on Corporate Governance: A View of Swiss Pension Funds in a Changing Financial Environment

Thierry Theurillat, José Corpataux and Olivier Crevoisier ()

No 12-08, GRET Publications and Working Papers from GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel

Abstract: Theories on corporate governance have developed in line with the development of the financial markets and the increasing power of institutional investors. Indeed, the financial markets' power can be measured by the ability of shareholders, and of institutional investors in particular, to influence businesses and their managers. A number of reforms have been implemented in several countries, Switzerland included, in order to strengthen shareholders' powers. Making specific reference to Swiss case studies, this paper aims to create a better understanding of the role of institutional investors in corporate governance. Indeed, Switzerland is paradoxical in that it is generally considered Rhenish, with banks and families taking a leading role in controlling big business (David et al. 2004; Windolf & Nollert 2001), whilst developing a pension fund system which, since the mid-1980s, has attracted considerable funds and is still experiencing strong growth. How do these two approaches, traditionally at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as the subject's literature is concerned, reconcile themselves in the Swiss market?

Keywords: Finance Industry; Territorial Economy; Swiss Pension Funds; Institutional Investors; Corporate Governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G0 G3 L0 E0 A1 O1 R1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2008-12
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Published in Competition & Change, December 2008, Volume 12, Number 4, Pages 307-327

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