Identity of the independent members of the bodies with control functions. Evidence from Italian banking

Giovanelli Lucia, Rotondo Federico

We examine the identity of the independent members of the governance bodies charged with oversight of the organization’s audit and control functions. By a biographical investigation into the 118 independent members of the bodies with control functions of the Italian banks that underwent comprehensive assessment by the European Central Bank (ECB), we outline the identikit of a man almost 60 years of age, coming from the banking territory, who graduated in the field of economics and who is highly experienced. A sufficient degree of diversity among members is found in relation to age and provenance, while serious concerns are raised about their time availability and true independence. This paper aims to fill the research gap on the personal qualities of individuals and advances understanding of their importance in corporate governance studies. It provides support for theories stating that the quality of people matters more than requirements and guidelines for reducing agency costs.

Key-Words: governance e controlli interni, corporate governance, control bodies, independence, biographical disclosure, regulation