Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisis

Course code
Course fee (no housing)
Advanced Bachelor
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This course is offered in an online setting.

Failing Corporate governance of financial institutions has often been mentioned as an important cause of the crisis. Consequently, having a deeper understanding how Corporate boards are formed and how they act have become a topic of increasing importance. Do you want to know how corporations are directed and how we can make them perform better? This course will provide you with the answers! 

Hundreds of billions of dollars in valuation were lost by scandals caused by failing corporate governance. Notable examples of this include Lehman Brothers, Parmalat and Ahold. These scandals also contributed to a climate in which trust between consumers and companies, between investors and directors, is harmed. Together with the Financial Crisis, these scandals inspired (semi) self-regulating bodies, governments, the EU and organizations like the OECD to take initiatives to improve corporate governance routines and safeguards. Corporate Governance Codes were altered and Codes for Financial Institutions were drafted to stimulate boards and shareholders to pursue a long-term strategy. The question remains however whether these changes will successfully prevent short-termism and excessive risk-taking, and, if not, what else can be done? This central question will be dealt with in the lectures of the course “Corporate Governance after the Financial Crisis” from both economic and legal perspectives.

On Monday, several theories behind corporate governance will be explained. After that, the mechanisms of corporate governance (markets, law and regulation, gatekeepers and watchdogs and self-regulation) will be discussed. Furthermore, the students will be instructed on how to write a paper on one of the pivotal corporate scandals. The theme of Tuesday will be risk management and reporting. During this session, the requirements for risk management and the way this has to be accounted for in the annual report will be assessed, followed by an explanation on how to report in a sustainable and integrated manner. In addition, we will enjoy a lecture on boardroom dynamics from an experienced former board member, Luigi Pinna.

On Wednesday, the lectures will be about shareholder value and the governance of the ABN AMRO Bank. During the fourth day, we will focus on supervisory board systems. On the final day, we will enjoy a lecture on executive pay and make the final online exam. 

Below you can find a trailer for this course. In addition, we have made a taster available for this course. See:

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder

Target audience

Bachelor and Master students with an interest in Law & Economics. Ph.D. students and young professionals are also welcome to apply.

Course aim

To equip students and young professionals with an insight into the background and development of key issues in Corporate Governance. The assignment will stimulate participants to apply this knowledge to one of the big scandals whilst also practicing academic writing skills. This course is also an excellent introduction to the course Public Law & Economics and the Caput Corporate Governance of the Master Law & Economics of Utrecht University.

Study load

Contact hours daily: 4-5 hours (lectures, group assignments) Self-study daily: 4 hours (preparation and research).

Participants take an online exam on the last day. Grading is based on a 10-point scale on the weighted sum of different elements. 


Course fee:
Course + course materials

More information

prof. dr. Wilco J. Oostwouder | E: | T: +31 (0)6 229 38 313


Application deadline: 15 July 2020

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