Corporate governance through voice and exit: Evidence from Standard Life Investments

First Results Seminar

Corporate governance through voice and exit: Evidence from Standard Life Investments

  • 03 October 2017
  • London Business School

Click here to read the report from this event.


This seminar presented first results from an ongoing project based on a unique data set provided by a large UK asset manager, Standard Life Investments (“SLI”). It covers the period 2003 - 2015 and documents SLI’s active ownership as exercised by its fund managers and governance and stewardship (G&S) team.

Access to the records of SLI allows the researchers to inform and test theories of corporate governance through voice and exit in an unprecedented way. The data set covers holdings in around 800 UK listed companies held by equity funds SLI managed actively over the sample period.

SLI also attribute an internal flag called a “Governance Health Warning” (GHW). Around ten percent of the portfolio companies had such a “health warning” during the sample period. The presentation sought to answer questions like: What are the internal governance and stewardship workings of a large active owner? How do voice and exit interact in practice? How does corporate governance influence fund manager decisions? Does voice and exit matter for performance?


The study is conducted by:


Professor Marco Becht (Solvay Brussels School, CEPR and ECGI)

Professor Julian Franks (London Business School, CEPR and ECGI)

Professor Hannes Wagner (Bocconi)


Panel discussion


The presentation was followed by a panel moderated by:
Professor Colin Mayer CBE FBA, Oxford University, CEPR and ECGI




John Kay CBE FRSE FBA, Visiting Professor, London School of Economics

Sir Richard Lambert, Chairman of the British Museum and of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Keith Skeoch, CEO at Standard Life Aberdeen 

Euan Stirling, Head of Stewardship and ESG Investment at Aberdeen Standard Investments


This seminar is supported by


London Business School, 26 Sussex Pl, Marylebone, London NW1 4SA, UK
Elaine McPartlan
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


Fellow Research Member Institutional Member Board Member