Interlocking directorates and conflicts of interest: The Rotterdamsche Bankvereeniging, Müller & Co. and the Dutch financial crisis of the 1920s

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    How can interlocking directorates cause financial instability for universal banks? A detailed history of the Rotterdamsche Bankvereeninging in the 1920s answers this question in a case study. This large commercial bank adopted a new German-style universal banking business model from the early 1910s, sharing directors with the firms it financed as a means of controlling its interests. Then, in 1924, it required assistance from the Dutch state in order to survive a bank run brought on by public concerns over its close ties with Müller & Co., a trading conglomerate that suffered badly in the economic downturn of the early 1920s. Using a new narrative history combined with an interpretive model, this article shows how the interlocking directorates between the bank and this major client, and in particular the direction of influence of these interlocks, resulted in a conflict of interest that could not be easily overcome.


    • Interlocking Directorates and Conflicts of Interest

      Rights statement: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Business History in 2013, available online:

      Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF-document


    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages21
    Pages (from-to)314-334
    JournalBusiness History
    Journal publication date2014
    Issue number2
    Early online date10 Jun 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

      Research areas

    • interlocking directorates, conflicts of interest, financial crises, universal banking, the Netherlands

    ID: 2521305