In my paper Inside Debt and Mergers and Acquisitions, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, I examine the link between CEO inside debt holdings and corporate risk-taking in M&A activities and its implications for bondholder, shareholder, and firm value. M&As are among the largest and most readily observable forms of corporate investment, which tend to intensify the inherent conflict of interests among shareholders, bondholders, and managers. Manager’s pension benefits and deferred compensation are debt-like compensation since they represent fixed obligations by the company to make future payments to corporate insiders/managers (hence, these are usually referred to as “inside debt”). Inside debt is expected to align manager interests with those of external debtholders and alleviate managers’ risk-taking incentive since inside debt is typically unsecured and unfunded, and if the firms go bankrupt, managers have equal claims as those of other unsecured creditors. Therefore, M&As provide a unique ground for testing the potential effects of debt-like compensation on corporate investment and financing strategies and the implications of the stakeholders’ interests.
Posts Tagged ‘Hieu Phan’
In our paper, Corporate Governance and Risk-Taking in Pension Plans: Evidence from Defined Benefit Asset Allocations, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, we examine whether good corporate governance leads to a larger allocation of pension assets to risky securities as compared to safe investments. Defined benefit (DB) plans are one of the most important private retirement schemes in corporate America. Although pension regulations require firms to establish separate trusts to manage and invest DB pension plan assets, these pension plans are owned by the sponsoring corporations and the plan asset allocations are made under the influence of, if not the direction and control of, the plan sponsors. Depending on the firm and plan characteristics as well as the market environment, firms may have different incentives in investing pension assets, namely, either risk-taking by allocating a larger share of plan assets to risky asset classes (e.g., equity) or risk management by investing heavily in safe asset classes (e.g., cash, government debt, and guaranteed insurance contracts).