Letting Companies Choose Between One-Tier and Two-Tier Board Models: An Empirical Analysis of European Jurisdictions - Martin Gelter

Prof. Martin Gelter's paper derives from original research into the choice of board models from 14 EU countries.

The Centre for Business Law and Practice is delighted to welcome Prof. Martin Gelter (Fordham School of Law). This seminar will be relevant to anyone interested in corporate governance and business law across Europe.


Design of a suitable board structure is a key aspect of good corporate governance. Today, many European countries not only allow modifications in detail but a choice between a one-tier model (i.e. a single board of directors) and a two-tier board model (i.e. a split between management and supervisory board). Yet, empirical research on the actual choices made by companies is rare. This paper aims to fill this gap. It presents original data about the choice of board models from the 14 EU countries that allow such choice. Amongst others, it finds that there are profound country differences in the prevalence for one of the board models, that the availability of choice mainly leads to a decline of the two-tier model, and that two-tier companies tend to be larger, older, more complex and more diverse (e.g., in terms of female or foreign board membership). The paper also discusses the practical and normative implications from our empirical findings.

About the Speaker

Martin Gelter is an expert in comparative corporate law and governance, he joined Fordham Law School in 2009. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Law and Business Law at the WU Vienna University of Economics. He also has been a Terence M. Considine Fellow in Law and Economics at Harvard Law School, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bologna, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris-II (Panthéon-Assas) as well as National Taiwan University. He is also a research associate of the European Corporate Governance Institute. In the past years, he has frequently taught in training programs for judges in corporate law in the Republic of Georgia. Martin holds degrees in law from the University of Vienna, in business administration from WU Vienna University of Economics, an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. in Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences from Columbia University. His scholarship has appeared in numerous journals both in Europe and in the United States.

Please register here for Martin's seminar.

Location Details

Seminar Room G.28
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

For sat navs, please use the postcode for Moorland Road, LS6 1AN. 

The Liberty Building can also be found on the campus map

All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required.

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