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BRUSSELS – 19 July 2022. The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) is delighted to announce the winners of the best papers in the Working Paper Finance and Law Series’ published in 2021.

The 2022 Intesa Sanpaolo Finance Prize of EUR 5,000 has been awarded to Andrey Malenko, University of Michigan and CEPR, Nadya Malenko, University of Michigan, CEPR and ECGI, Chester S. Spatt, Carnegie Mellon University and NBER for their paper on:  Creating Controversy in Proxy Voting Advice” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 772/2021).

The paper shows how the commercial model of proxy advisors creates an incentive for the advisor to create controversy on certain votes through its recommendations in order to maximise revenues. Investigation of this novel channel for potential bias creates insight into areas for future research and considerations for regulation of proxy advisors.

The 2022 Cleary Gottlieb Prize for the Best Paper in the ECGI Law Working Paper Series has been awarded to Dorothy S. Lund (University of Southern California), and Elizabeth Pollman (University of Pennsylvania and ECGI) for their paper: "The Corporate Governance Machine" (ECGI Law Working Paper 564/2021).

The paper sheds light on the complexity of the movement to reorient corporate purpose away from shareholder primacy. The authors’ account of the corporate governance machine has wide-ranging implications for multiple conversations in corporate law, and the debate over corporate purpose in particular.

Referring to the awards, Professor Marco Becht, ECGI Executive Director said;

“The 2022 winning papers typify the valuable work being carried out by leading academics around the globe on matters of practical importance. The two papers provide insights that can make a significant contribution to current debates and inform the direction of public policy. ECGI congratulates the 2022 winners and thanks the sponsors, Intesa Sanpaolo and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP for their support of the series.”

The awards will be presented at the “Capitalism Revisted’ conference on Friday 16th September 2022 in Milan, Italy. Registration will be open to the public, with details published on the ECGI website (




Elaine McPartlan

General Manager

+32 2 550 2340


About the European Corporate Governance Institute

ECGI is an international scientific non-profit association which provides a forum for debate and dialogue focusing on major corporate governance issues and thereby promoting best practice. It is the home for all those with an interest in corporate governance offering membership categories for academics, practitioners, patrons and institutions.

Its primary role is to undertake, commission and disseminate research on corporate governance. Based upon impartial and objective research and the collective knowledge and wisdom of its members, it can advise on the formulation of corporate governance policy and development of best practice. In seeking to achieve the aim of improving corporate governance, ECGI acts as a focal point for academics working on corporate governance in Europe and elsewhere, encouraging the interaction between the different disciplines, such as economics, law, finance and management.


About the ECGI Working Paper Series

The primary purpose of the two series (Law and Finance) is to publish research papers on corporate governance related topics that are authored or co-authored by ECGI Research Members i.e. those who have been elected as ECGI Fellows or nominated as ECGI Research Associates.

The series editors generally apply a broad definition of corporate governance and also include papers on the interface between corporate governance and other areas, or papers of which only a part touches on corporate governance. However, papers in other areas whose relevance for corporate governance is only indirect or methodological are not included.

Past Prizewinners can be found here.


About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946, Cleary Gottlieb has grown to over 1,200 lawyers from more than 50 countries, working across practices, industries, jurisdictions, and continents to provide clients with simple, actionable approaches to their most complex legal and business challenges.

They support every client relationship with intellectual agility, commercial acumen, and a human touch. They have a proven track record for serving with innovation. They are fluent in the many languages of local and global business. And they have achieved consistent success in multiple jurisdictions.

Global corporations, financial institutions, sovereign governments, local businesses, and individuals come to them for consistently practical and forward-looking advice.


About The Intesa Sanpaolo Group

The Intesa Sanpaolo Group is one of the top banking groups in Europe (35.6 billion euro of market capitalisation(1) ), with a significant ESG commitment, a world-class position in Social Impact and strong focus on climate. Intesa Sanpaolo is the leader in Italy in all business areas (retail, corporate, and wealth management). The Group offers its services to 13.5 million customers through a network of over 3,700 branches well distributed throughout the country with market shares no lower than 12% in most Italian regions.

Intesa Sanpaolo has a strategic international presence, with approximately 1,000 branches and 7 million customers, comprising subsidiaries operating in commercial banking in 12 countries in Central Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern and North African areas and an international network of specialists in support of corporate customers across 25 countries, in particular in the Middle East and North Africa and in those areas where Italian companies are most active. 

(1) As at 30 June 2022



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