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US tells EU what to do

Peter Clapman

Now hardly seems the time for Americans to be making pronouncements on European corporate governance. Yet Peter Clapman, chief counsel at TIAA-Cref, the US teachers' pension fund, has done just that.

Clapman, wrote to EU internal markets commissioner Frits Bolkestein saying the resurrection of its takeover code is a very positive development.

He wants to see a broad initiative and common standards across Europe rather than a migration to the lowest common denominator.

Clapman believes the success of any takeover should rest with the shareholders of the companies involved and not face regulatory barriers.

Clapman's views have added weight as he is chairman of the International Corporate Governance Network, which has 250 members that manage $12 trillion of assets.

Clapman points out that, though the ICGN hopes to participate in discussions, he isn't promoting a US solution for Europe.