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2020 Working Paper Prizes

prize winners 2020

BRUSSELS – 24 April 2020. 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 2019.

The winners of the two prizes in the 2020 Working Paper Competition will be awarded at ECGI's Annual Members' Meeting scheduled to take place at the Stockholm School of Economics on 15 October 2020.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Finance Prize

The €5,000 prize for the best paper in the Finance series is sponsored by the global asset manager, Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The 2020 Aberdeen Standard Investments Prize of EUR 5,000 has been awarded to Alon Brav (Duke University and ECGI), Wei Jiang (Columbia University and ECGI), Tao Li (University of Florida), James Pinnington (Duke University)  for their paper on:  “Picking Friends Before Picking (Proxy) Fights: How Mutual Fund Voting Shapes Proxy Contests” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 601/2019).

The paper provides a very relevant contribution to the relative influence and voting behaviour of passive versus active funds. It finds that firm, fund, and event characteristics generate substantial heterogeneity among investors in their support for the dissident, including their reliance on proxy advisors. Notably, that active funds are significantly more pro-dissident than passive funds.

The 2020 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Prize for the Best Paper in the ECGI Law Working Paper Series has been awarded to Mariana Pargendler (FGV Law School in São Paulo and ECGI) for her paper: “The Grip of Nationalism on Corporate Law” (ECGI Law Working Paper 437/2019).

The paper argues that nationalist influence on corporate law is old, widespread, and resilient, such that corporate law has been used as a stealth mechanism for protectionism. It shows that nationalism has left an imprint on the most important features of the governance landscape, ranging from ownership structures and takeover defenses to choice of law and investor protection. Protectionist objectives, rather than the agency cost considerations that dominate the literature, are the proximate cause of corporate reforms with surprising frequency.

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. They are providing evidence and theory, without bias or agenda, to otherwise unproven claims in real world situations. ECGI congratulates the 2020 winners and thanks the sponsors, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton for their continued support of the series.”

Working paper cover

🏆 "Shareholder Monitoring Through Voting: New Evidence from Proxy Contests"

By Alon Brav, Wei Jiang, Tao Li and James Pinnington

🏆 "The Grip of Nationalism on Corporate Law"

By Mariana Pargendler

Working paper cover

Alon Brav

Bratton Family Distinguished Professor
Fuqua School of Business
Research Member

Wei Jiang

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Finance
Emory University Goizueta Business School
Research Member
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