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What trends can be seen in respect to independence, gender, tenure and age among board members between 2001- 2010?: - A study of four banks in Sweden
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Corporate Governance is an important topic that has been given a great deal of attention the last decade and the attention has increased even more with the financial crisis of 2007-2009. The severe financial and economic crisis has worsened the relationship between shareholders and corporations, including banks, as well as between the executive management and the board of directors. There is a need to rebuild the trust between these actors and Corporate Governance is considered to be a helpful tool in order to achieve this.

A mean that is used within Corporate Governance to protect shareholders in the financial market is the use of independent directors as a monitoring device for the executive management. Independent directors are considered to play an important role on boards and are preventing inside directors from abusing their power in hazardous ways. The efficiency of independent directors has however shown to differ between industries. The banking industry in particular stands out in comparison to non-financial firms. It is vital that independent directors are provided with the right expertise that is needed to fundamentally understand the complex industry of banks, and there is a risk that these directors lack this kind of knowledge which makes their presence inefficient.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether there have been any changes in the number of independent board members in four Swedish banks within the time period of 2001-2010. The banks that are included in this study are Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank. Variables that are covered in the study are, except for number of independent board members in respect to the bank and major shareholders, the number of executives on the boards, the gender distribution, average age and average tenure of the independent board members.

The result shows that there has been an increase in the number of independent board members within the investigated time period. The banks are complying with guidelines concerning board independence that are included in various recommendations provided by both the European Commission as well as the Swedish Corporate Governance Board. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
Corporate Governance, Independent directors, Banks
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18086OAI: diva2:528096
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-19 Created: 2012-05-24 Last updated: 2012-06-19Bibliographically approved

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