OCGG Director Andre Nilsen on Corporate Governance and Takeovers in the EU

(Oxford, 13 December 2004) Andre Nilsen, the Chairman and Managing Director of the OCGG, appears in the latest issue of the European Business Law Review with an article on corporate governance and takeovers in the EU.

Mr Nilsen argues that different varieties of capitalism sustain equally good competitive advantages. 'The German economy is just as effective in the long term as the American,' he says, adding that when it comes to legitimacy the Continental-Nordic variety might indeed be superior to the the Anglo-American one.

In spite of this, the recent EU takeover directive, Mr Nilsen explains, threatened to undermine the Continental-Nordic model of corporate governance by imposing a one-size fits all Anglo-American solution.

Although the final version of the directive permits both models, there is still a bias in favour of the Anglo-American one, which is defined as the default option. 'The directive contains a ticking bomb,' says Mr Nilsen, 'since the Continental-Nordic model is included just as an exception', adding that exceptions by their very nature are vulnerable to be removed at a later stage.

The article is part of the output from the OCGG Economy Section's Advice Program on Industry and Competitiveness, which is coordinated by Mr Nilsen. It also draws on his doctoral research in political economy at the University of Oxford.

The article, titled ‘Anglo-American v Continental-Nordic Models of corporate Governance: The Political Economy of Takeovers in the European Union’, can be found in European Business Law Review, Vol 15, No 6.