Executive compensation following mergers and acquisitions : the impact of institutional ownership
This thesis investigates the monitoring effect from institutional ownership on bidder Chief Executive Officer (hereafter CEO) compensation in mergers and acquisitions (hereafter M&A) as well as the shift in compensation structure. While it is well-established in the literature that bidder CEO compensation soars significantly after conducting such transactions, the sources of the growth are left unclear. One major argument, the traditional theory, proposes that the growth derives from additional wealth created to shareholders in M&A, because according to the nature of compensation contract, CEOs’ interests are effectively aligned with shareholders’ benefits. On the other hand, scholars of managerial power theory argue that managerial power is stronger than shareholders’ oversight, so managers use M&A as a cover to expropriate wealth from shareholders. Whether the traditional theory or the managerial power theory dominates depends on the presence of optimal contract and the effectiveness of corporate governance. Institutional owners have more motivation and resources to restrict managerial behaviour than diffused owners. Thus, the change in CEO compensation following M&A and the driving factors behind the change could be different in firms with different types of ownership. After examining the 268 merger events from 266 US public non-family bidding firms from 2001 to 2005, this study finds that the magnitude of increase in CEO cash-based compensation is significantly alleviated in the presence of large institutional shareholders, and that the increase seems to be positively related to good short-term performance rather than managerial power. However, the concentrated institutional ownership does not seem to affect CEO equity-based compensation or the change in compensation structure. Besides, we do not find any significant relation between firm long-term post-acquisition performance and the market reaction to the announcement of M&A. Thus, we propose that without a reliable indication from short-term performance, large institutional shareholders could have problems in understanding the potential impact of M&A and they might adjust CEO equity-based compensation in a serial process after M&A.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorTannous, George F.; Maung, Min
CommitteeYang, Fan; Tian, Gloria Y.
Copyright DateSeptember 2013
mergers and acquisitions