Corporate governance through voice and exit

Evidence from Standard Life Investments

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Presented by Marco Becht and Julian Franks at London Business School on 3 October 2017. The event was hosted in collaboration with the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and supported by the AQR Asset Management Institute.

This event is hosted by London Business School in collaboration with the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and supported by the AQR Asset Management Institute.

About the event

First Results Seminar

This seminar will present first results from ongoing research based on a unique data set provided by a large UK asset manager, Standard Life Investments (SLI), now Aberdeen Standard Investments. It documents the active ownership as exercised by its fund managers and Governance and Stewardship team.

Access to the records allowed 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 period 2003-2015.

SLI also attribute an internal flag called a “Governance Health Warning”. Around ten percent of the portfolio companies had such a “health warning” during the sample period.

The study will seek to answer questions such as:

  • 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 project was funded by the Norwegian Finance Initiative.




  • Marco Becht, Professor of Finance and Goldschmidt Professor of Corporate Governance, Solvay Brussels School
  • Julian Franks, Professor of Finance, London Business School
  • Hannes Wagner, Associate Professor of Finance, Bocconi University


  • Colin Mayer CBE, FBA, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford


  • John Kay CBE, FRSE, FBA, Supernumerary Fellow in Economics, St John’s College, University of Oxford
  • Sir Richard Lambert, Chairman, British Museum
  • Keith Skeoch, CEO, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Euan Stirling, Head of Stewardship and ESG Investment, Aberdeen Standard Investments

Materials to view

Useful links

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