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BRUSSELS – 17 September 2021. 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 2020.

The 2021 ECGI Finance Prize of EUR 5,000 has been awarded to José-Luis Peydró (Imperial College London and CEPR), Andrea Polo (Luiss University, EIEF, CEPR and ECGI), Enrico Sette (Bank of Italy) for their paper on:  “Risk Mitigating versus Risk Shifting: Evidence from Banks Security Trading in Crises” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 713/2020). The prize is kindly sponsored by the European Corporate Governance Research Foundation.

The paper analyses whether banks start to gamble when they are closer to distress or become more cautious. They find that more fragile banks react to financial market stress by rebalancing their portfolio toward securities with lower yield, and bank own incentives, instead of supervision, are the main drivers. This finding is particularly important for European banking regulators who have been considering introducing limits on bank securities trading, specifically in the area of the purchases of sovereign bonds.

The 2021 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Prize for the Best Paper in the ECGI Law Working Paper Series has been awarded to Dionysia Katelouzou (Kings College London) and Mathias Siems (European University Institute and ECGI) for their paper: “The Global Diffusion of Stewardship Codes” (ECGI Law Working Paper 526/2020).

The paper finds that there is both uniformity and diversity between the many stewardship codes that have been introduced globally. It notes that among the seven key stewardship principles of the UK Stewardship Code 2012, most of them have diffused widely, while the principles on escalating engagement activities and collective action are the least travelled. It concludes that while diffusion involves various actors, local contexts and complex pathways, stewardship norms and practices will continue to travel globally.

Referring to the awards, Professor Marco Becht, ECGI Executive Director said “The Working Paper prizes exemplify the high standard of research being produced by ECGI research members and fellows worldwide. This year’s winners have taken a closer look at generally accepted theses, using in-depth research to show that not all is as it seems. ECGI congratulates the 2021 winners and thanks the sponsors, The European Corporate Governance Research Foundation and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton for their support of the series.”

The two papers will be presented at the ECGI Annual Members’ Meeting on Thursday 28 October (online). Registration for this session is open to the public, with details published on the ECGI website (

Event: /content/2021-wallenberg-lecture#!event-programme 


Access papers:

Risk Mitigating versus Risk Shifting: Evidence from Banks Security Trading in Crises” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 713/2020) - José-Luis Peydró (Imperial College London and CEPR), Andrea Polo (Luiss University, EIEF, CEPR and ECGI), Enrico Sette (Bank of Italy).

The Global Diffusion of Stewardship Codes (ECGI Law Working Paper 526/2020) - Dionysia Katelouzou (Kings College London) and Mathias Siems (European University Institute and ECGI)





Elaine McPartlan

General Manager


Professor Marco Becht

Executive Director




About the European Corporate Governance Institute

The 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. A list of past winners is available here.


About Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

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.

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

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


About The European Corporate Governance Research Foundation (ECGRF)

ECGRF was established to support the continuing flow of academic research on corporate governance and stewardship for the public good. The integrity of that research is enshrined in its statutes. The Foundation’s Trustees are particularly aware of the impact of evidence-based research and value it highly. It was established under Belgian Law as an international not-for-profit Foundation.


The finance jury was composed of: 

Professor Mike Burkart
Editor of the ECGI Finance Working Paper Series
Professor for Corporate Finance, Mannheim Business School, University of Mannheim

Professor Franklin Allen
Professor of Finance and Economics and Executive Director of the Brevan Howard Centre at Imperial College London

Professor Julian Franks
Professor of Finance, London Business School

Professor Marco Pagano
Professor of Economics, Facoltà di Economia, Università di Napoli Federico II

Professor Xavier Vives
Professor of Economics and Financial Management , IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Professor Luigi Zingales
Robert C. McCormack Professor Entrepreneurship & Finance, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business


The law jury was composed of: 

Professor Amir Licht
Editor of the ECGI Law Working Paper Series
Professor of Law, Radzyner School of Law, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

Professor Dr Horst Eidenmüller
Freshfields Professor of Commercial Law, University of Oxford

Professor Martin Gelter
Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Professor Genevieve Helleringer
Professor of Law, ESSEC Business School and Oxford Law Faculty

Professor Curtis J. Milhaupt
Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

Professor Iris Chiu
Professor of Law, Law Department, London School of Economics


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