Long before ECGRF was established, the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) was developing a reputation for thought leadership and community. Some of its notable achievements are highlighted in the timeline below. Since 2016, ECGRF has provided a more stable structure for the community to operate in, with the establishment of a physical office and a growing operations team. The timeline below combines notable achievements for ECGI in terms of both research developments and organisational developments.

Royal Academies of Belgium, Palace of the Academies, Brussels, Belgium

The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) was founded in 2002, as an international scientific non-profit association. Established to improve corporate governance through fostering independent scientific research and related activities.


In 2006, ECGI commissioned two surveys on “control enhancing mechanisms” (CEMs), like dual class shares and tenure voting, that were under review by the European Commission. The surveys contributed to the EU’s decision to apply the subsidiarity principle and defer the question of CEMs to Member States.


In 2014, the Global Corporate Governance Colloquia (GCGC) association was established as an interdisciplinary (law, finance, economics and management) conference series, bringing together leading international scholars to debate current ideas in corporate governance research. The series is supported by twelve of the world's leading universities (Harvard, Oxford, Tokyo, Singapore, Frankfurt, Swedish House of Finance, London Business School, Columbia, Yale, Peking, Seoul, Stanford) together with a select group of corporate entities (Zurich AG, the European Investment Bank, Japan Exchange).


The European Corporate Governance Research Foundation was established in November 2013 by Belgian Royal Decree and launched in May 2016. The principal aim of the Foundation is to provide sufficient funding in order that the ECGI can continue to embark on an ambitious and far-reaching programme of research activities, with all the necessary resources and support that this requires.


By 2017, ECGI had  published over 860 Working Papers on vital, current topics. It had acquired over 600 members from more than 57 different countries, had hosted over 22 international conferences, numerous workshops, and provided training for 18 doctoral students. ECGI maintains a directory of over 460 international Corporate Governance Codes from more then 100 jurisdictions and three of its 190 Research Members, Jean Tirole, Bengt Holmström and Oliver Hart, have won Nobel Prizes.


In 2020 ECGI gathered its experts to review a major report on “directors’ duties and sustainable corporate governance” prepared by a consultant at the request of the European Commission. The ECGI experts unanimously agreed that the methodology was flawed and recommended to disregard the report’s conclusions.

Until 2020, ECGI operated as an exclusive membership organisation within a semi-closed network. The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the opening of the network activities, which has enabled ECGI to lower its walls and raise both its visibility and impact around the world without compromising on admission criteria. This is considered a step change in advancing the combination of research with policy, business, and capital markets.


Responsible Capitalism is more than ever a fundamentally important theme. By using the new concept of responsible capitalism, and leveraging the power of its global experts, ECGI will call to attention the fact that all participants are jointly accountable for the social, economic and environmental outcomes of the capitalist process.
The project will engage and assist policy makers and other constituencies in interpreting research findings and to confront their thinking with the best available evidence.

ECGI has remained relevant because it is agile and responsive and has put emphasis on topics as they arise.  ECGI researchers now cover a much broader set of issues then when originally formed, including ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) and corporate responsibilities. It has therefore become appropriate to apply ECGI’s credentials, expertise and reputation to the connecting theme of ‘Responsible Capitalism’. ECGI’s existing track record puts it in an ideal position to become a global leader on this theme.