A successful seminar for Reykjavik University's Centre for Corporate Governance, March 10, 2017


At the seminar, Professor Sven Erik Sjöstrand at Stockholm School of Economics presented research findings published in a book on Nordic corporate governance. The book describes how corporate governance takes place in practice in large Nordic companies. The empirical results and conclusions are based on an extensive in-depth study of 36 mid- and large cap corporations involving some 250 owners, board members (including Chairs), and CEOs.

Three major conclusions can be drawn from the rich material:

  • Firstly, the authors show that a company's total ownership situation to a large extent determines how the governance process is organized and executed. The ownership dimension that matters most is its structure (concentrated or fragmented shareholding). However, whether a corporation is owned privately or by the state also matters, as does the personality of the controlling/main owner (e.g., risk seeker or risk averse) and the owner's personal involvement in the operational and financial flows (i.e., contribution to the different corporate bodies). All those governance qualities are crucial in the Nordic environment, where most corporations tend to have controlling/main shareholders.
  • Secondly, it is obvious that each corporation has the opportunity to ‘tailor' its own governance process and that the owners actually also use that possibility. Such an option exists because the Nordic company laws allow considerable degrees of freedom in terms of interpretation, and the complementary soft regulations are not binding.
  • Thirdly, the empirical material in this extensive study lends support to the notion that what is really decisive for how the different corporations develop over time is how ownership control is captured, organized and executed. Thus, of particular importance is which owners control a company and how they act, that is, what ideas, competences, time horizons and ways of thinking dominate the governance process.

Over 60 Icelandic industry people participated in the seminar, which was sponsored by LOGOS, Stefnir and Deloitte.


The 9th Annual Noridc Corporate Governance Workshop was held in Reykjavík June 7th - 9th, 2017. The workshop's theme was: NORTHERN IMPRESSIONS IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: SORTING ILLUSION FROM INSPIRATION.

All the workshop papers from law, economics, finance, accounting, and management

on the topic of corporate governance in general and manuscripts that concern the infirmities and
advantages of the Nordic model in particular. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Corporate governance elements unique to the Nordic region
• The role of Nordic corporate governance in a globalized world
• The role of the world in Nordic corporate governance (international track)
• Ownership differences and ownership forms
• Institutional investors, hedge funds, and shareholder activism
• Accounting, regulation, and safeguarding the cg environment
• Boards, management and managerial incentives
• Political perspectives, taxes, and the influence of the state on Nordic capitalism
• Informal governance and reputational factors

About the Nordic Corporate Governance Network (NCGN)

NCGN is a network for Nordic researchers in corporate governance. It was founded in 2010 with the aim of contributing to a deeper international understanding of the Nordic corporate governance model. The Network arranges workshops and colloquia, promotes cooperation between Nordic researchers and aims to make research results more visible in the Nordic region and on an international arena. The network comprises 150 faculty members, predominantely from Nordic universities. To register in the network, please send e-mail to Therese Strand: The network board 2018-19 comprises professor Minna Martikainen, Hanken School of Economics (, professor Karin Thorburn, Norwegian School of Economics (karin., professor Bo Becker, Stockholm School of Economics, ( and associate professor Throstur Olaf Sigurjonsson, Reykjavik University and Copenhagen Business School ( and

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