Our History

The Gold Mercury Award for Global Governance

The 1960s

The Beginnings of Modern Corporate Responsibility and Global Governance

Eduardo De Santis, an Italian movie producer and business entrepreneur with interests in Italy, United States and Europe starts to discuss with businesses, journalists, academics and government the effects of global trade in society and the need to improve corporate ethics and corporate responsibility. Policy areas included improving the safety of industry workers, inclusion of women in upper management, the proper disposal of industrial waste and better labour relations. ‘Corporate Governance’ is created as a new term by Richard Eells to denote “the structure and functioning of the corporate polity”. Eduardo De Santis forms Gold Mercury International in 1961 with a Founding Charter as an independent think tank and international organisation for better governance, economic cooperation and trade. Gold Mercury starts organising international conferences to bring together world leaders, businesses and governments to discuss better governance practices, policy and advance economic trade.


Creating the First Global ‘Governance Awards’

To recognise good governance, Eduardo De Santis creates the Gold Mercury International Awards. The first Gold Mercury Awards were presented in Rome in November 1961 under the auspices of Italian President Giuseppe Saragat. The key motivation for granting the Awards was to recognise the initiatives of companies and government towards promoting peace and cooperation, good governance practices and international trade. Today, the Gold Mercury International Award has achieved international recognition as a symbol of visionary leadership and good governance. Over the years, Gold Mercury International has been honoured by the patronage and participation in its Award ceremonies and conferences by many world leaders and historic figures including US President Ronald Reagan, H.M. King Juan Carlos I of Spain, H.E. Anwar Sadat President of Egypt, United Nations Secretary General Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, Italian Presidents H.E. Giovanni Leone and H.E. Giuseppe Saragat, Sheikh Khalifia bin Sulman Al-Khalifia of Bahrain and Leonid Breznev, Supreme Leader of the Soviet Union.


The ‘Gold Mercury’ Symbol of the Organisation

Gold Mercury International Award adopted the Roman and Greek God Mercury (Hermes) as its symbol. Mercury (Hermes) was the mythological messenger of the gods and patron of trade & commerce. Mercury was regarded as a great mediator and able to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs by amalgamating practices of various schools of thought. The original Gold Mercury statue was designed (circa 1564) by the Flemish sculptor Jean Boulogne. The symbol represents our values of visionary leadership, excellence in governance and peace through cooperation and commerce.


The Gold Mercury Symbol and Award Statue: Symbolising Excellence in Visionary Leadership

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