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Advances in Corporate GovernanceComparative Perspectives$
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Helmut K. Anheier and Theodor Baums

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198866367

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198866367.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Corporate Governance Regulation for Public Benefit Foundations in Europe

Corporate Governance Regulation for Public Benefit Foundations in Europe

(p.111) 6 Corporate Governance Regulation for Public Benefit Foundations in Europe
Advances in Corporate Governance

Hanna Surmatz

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to answer whether corporate governance principles apply to public benefit foundations, taking into account the specific structure of philanthropic foundations as asset-based and purpose-driven organisations without owners and shareholders, and, if so, in which ways? In search of a response, the chapter reviews internal and external governance rules of public benefit foundations as tools to safeguard the will of the founder(s) and pursuit of the statutory public benefit purpose in a comparative perspective and places them in the context of recent policy. The chapter concludes that classical corporate governance theory, including principal–agent theory, is not suitable for public benefit foundations and more comprehensive principles should be further developed and tested. It also suggests that the interplay of hard law and soft law as well as internal and external governance elements seems necessary to provide appropriate governance approaches.

Keywords:   corporate governance, public benefit foundation, governance rules, principal–agent theory, comparative perspective

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