European institutional investors are increasingly concerned about good corporate governance conduct in companies they invest in, according to a poll conducted by Brussels-based consultant Deminor.

Reporting the results to the conference, Jean-Nicholas Caprasse of the consultancy said that the UK had taken the lead in introducing codes of best practice, with a statement of compliance a listing requirement for the London Stock Exchange.

The debate had also hit board level at French, Dutch, Belgian and Swedish companies. Evidence of change is perceptible in France, but currently quite limited in other European countries. German, Swiss, Italian and Spanish corporations still show little evidence of awareness towards the evolution of corporate governance."

The key issues for European institutional investors were long-term shareholder value, transparency and accountability. In the board rooms of most European companies these "still have a long way to be translated into action"."