Fischer Center for Corporate Governance and Capital Markets Regulation

The Batya and Isachar Fischer Center for Corporate Governance and Capital Markets Regulation

The collapse of Enron in 2001 was a wake-up call for the world’s markets, forcing them to focus on corporate governance, the crucial oversight mechanisms that maintain the legal and ethical compliance of business organizations. Public outrage over the Enron scandal prompted the U.S. government to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to regain investor confidence. Its sweeping set of changes to U.S. federal securities laws and existing corporate governance practices was mirrored to some extent in other countries. Its echo has been felt in Israel, where legislators, the Israel Securities and Exchange Commission, other regulators and the market have all been debating the optimal route to change.

On top of these and other pressing issues which beleaguer any developed market, Israel has many unique challenges all its own. The Israel financial sector is narrow, with only several major players, and it is in the midst of a major, legally mandated reform. Capital markets are active, but most firms have concentrated ownership structures, raising frequent conflicts between majority and minority shareholders, and harming liquidity. Cross-holdings of major parts of the economy create serious anti-trust and other concerns. Finally, government involvement, while slowly fading, is still too influential. Unresolved problems and issues are many, and Israel’s community of legal and academic scholars can play a pivotal role in their resolution. Serious research and academic discussion will benefit both would-be reformists and the market as a whole.

In this context, TAU’s Faculty of Law seeks to establish a Center for the Study of Corporate Governance and Capital Market Regulation, the first of its kind in Israel. The proposed Center would:

  • Enrich academic discourse and advance innovative multidisciplinary research in law, finance and business, by attracting top faculty researchers and students in these fields to TAU and Israel
  • Strengthen ties between lawyers from the Tel Aviv financial center and TAU academia to create a business-legal community
  • Provide an interactive forum for business leaders and corporate boards; the legal community; and Israeli and foreign academics, practitioners, students and others interested in corporate governance issues.

The Center will propose progressive changes in Israel’s corporate structure and management through education and legal-business interaction. The adoption of modern corporate-governance rules will lead to a more enabling, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for domestic and foreign investment. To promote these goals the Center will:

  • Conduct multidisciplinary research and analysis
  • Hold professional-level international conferences, symposia and colloquia on law, finance and business, and more general seminars for academics, practitioners and the public
  • Promote academic exchange between Israeli and international scholars in this field
  • Publish conference proceedings and regular research/activity bulletins, and promote external publication in academic journals and leading newspapers
  • Award fellowships to promising graduate students

The Center staff will concentrate its research efforts in five vital, interconnected spheres: corporate governance, capital-markets regulation, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, and the role of the legal counsel.

Prof. Ehud Kamar is the Director of the Center. Prof. Omri Yadlin is an Adviser to the Center . 

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