Center for Corporate Governance


Academic Group at HHL

Finance, Accounting and Corporate Governance


  • Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management Investment GmbH
  • E&Y Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft

Academic Board

  • Prof. Dr. Marc Steffen Rapp
  • Prof. Christian Strenger
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wolff

Research Associate



  • International Corporate Governance (MBA program)
  • Corporate Governance (M.Sc. program)
  • Corporate Governance (Doctoral program)

Research Areas

  • Performance relevance of corporate governance
  • Governance ratings and scoring systems
  • Corporate governance in emerging markets
  • Diversity
  • Investment and financing of family firms


  • IFC Global Corporate Governance Solutions Program
  • Center for Corporate Transactions and Private Equuity (CCTPE), HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany
  • Chair of Management and Controlling, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • Management Accounting Research Group, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
  • Zeitschrift für Corporate Governance (ZCG) (German corporate governance journal)

What we do

The Center for Corporate Governance was established in April 2010 and is one of HHL’s established focal points in research and education. In its work, it also aims to achieve practical relevance.

The Center is under the direction of an academic board consisting of Prof. Dr. Marc Steffen Rapp (Philipps-Universität Marburg), Prof. Christian Strenger (Frankfurt) and Prof. Dr. Michael Wolff (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen).

The Center’s research deals with questions related to the relevance of good governance to performance, diversity and the development of corporate governance in emerging countries. Prof. Christian Strenger, co-director of the Center and member of the German Corporate Governance Commission and numerous supervisory boards, explains the CCG activities: “Apart from research and education especially in the area of corporate governance and performance, targeted events promote professional exchange between research and practice.”

The CCG cooperates with national and international entitites (including the IFC Global Corporate Governance Solutions Program). It is supported by DWS Investment GmbH and E&Y Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft.


Courses of the Center for Corporate Governance offer students an in-depth understanding of theoretical corporate governance concepts and their application in different regulatory systems, which have become an increasingly important issue of economic research as well as the public debate. In all courses of the CCG, real cases and large scale empirical research papers are the framework for discussions on various corporate governance issues, e.g. executive compensation, responsibilities and role of corporate boards, and governance codes of best practice. For HHL’s doctoral program the CCG offers a course that enhances the students’ understanding of corporate governance by becoming familiar with contemporary research methods in the field of corporate governance research.

  • International Corporate Governance (MBA program)
  • Corporate Governance (M.Sc. program)
  • Corporate Governance (Doctoral program)


Compliance with Corporate Governance Codes – Code Compliance Study

After the corporate scandals in the nineties, several codes of good governance have been established around the world. These codes then became a central element in the public discussion of governance issues of listed companies. This project analyzes the acceptance level of the German Corporate Governance Codes among large, German listed companies.

The Code Compliance Study examines annually the acceptance level of the current version of the German Corporate Governance Code (GCGC) within DAX and MDAX firms. The study analyzes overall compliance, as well as the firms’ compliance behavior on the level of ‘Shall’-Recommendations and ‘Should’-Suggestions. In addition, the study examines the firms’ governance quality based on four specially constructed governance indices that represent the key areas of governance (transparency, monitoring/control, incentives and diversity). Moreover, compliance behavior with respect to GCGC’s suggestions as well as the relationship between firm characteristics and compliance levels is analyzed. Overall, the study presents a broad and comprehensive view on code compliance behavior of German listed firms.

List of Studies

2018  2017  2016  2015  2014   2013  2012  2011

Current regulatory initiatives have created a difficult situation for institutional investors that are obliged to vote but are unable to do so due to severe hindrances in the present chain method for cross border voting. A suitable framework in form of a voting platform is proposed and analyzed how legislators and regulators can support such a voting platform to enable investors to exercise their voting rights.

Among listed companies, family ownership, or high influence and control remain relevant topics – especially in Germany. However, the public debate about regulation of corporate governance mostly builds on the paradigm of the widely held firm. This project analyzes whether and to what extent family firms are willing to adopt best-practice rules proposed by the German Corporate Governance Code.

A Paradoxon of Policy Intervention: The Case of the German Tax Reduction Act and its Counterproductive Effects

The German Tax Reduction Act of 2000 abolished the taxation of capital gains from book profits resulting from equity holdings in order to encourage banks, insurances and other investors to sell low yielding equity stakes and to broaden the share ownership structure in Germany. Contrary to the key political intentions of the policy makers, the tax reform led to more concentrated ownership. This unintended development in equity ownership concentration, however, led to a positive impact on firm value. According to our theoretical model, this value creating effect is attributed to a favorable reshuffling of agency costs.

Investment and Financing of Family Firms

Family ownership among listed corporations has significant influence on the financing and investment behavior of such firms. While widely held corporations might favor external capital over internal funds, this relation might be reverse for family firms. This project analyzes the relation of internal cash flows and investments in German family owned firms using a multi-equation approach.

Workshop on Corporate Governance and the Capital Allocation Process Within Society

In 2018, the Center for Corporate Governance hosted the “Workshop on Corporate Governance and the Capital Allocation Process Within Society” at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. More than 40 participants from six countries spent 1 1/2 days in Leipzig to discuss problems of corporate governance and the most current research by internationally renowned researchers from the field. Ten years after the financial crisis and three years after Dieselgate, the workshop’s panel discussion brought together senior scholars and experienced practitioners and discussed the question “Do we need more or less corporate governance regulation?”.

The Center for Corporate Governance is grateful to EY and Daniela Mattheus, Partner at EY Corporate Governance Board Services, for their generous support of the workshop.

Our team

Prof. Dr. Marc Steffen Rapp
Academic Director
Prof. Christian Strenger
Academic Director
Prof. Dr. Michael Wolff
Academic Director