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Lucky Directors

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  • Lucian A. Bebchuk
  • Yaniv Grinstein
  • Urs Peyer

Abstract

While prior empirical work and much public attention have focused on the opportunistic timing of executives' grants, we provide in this paper evidence that outside directors' option grants have also been favorably timed to an extent that cannot be fully explained by sheer luck. Examining events in which public firms granted options to outside directors during 1996-2005, we find that 9% were "lucky grant events" falling on days with a stock price equal to a monthly low. We estimate that about 800 lucky grant events owed their status to opportunistic timing, and that about 460 firms and 1400 outside directors were associated with grant events produced by such timing. There is evidence that the opportunistic timing of director grant events has been to a substantial extent the product of backdating and not merely spring-loading based on private information. We find that directors' luck has been correlated with executives' luck. Furthermore, grant events were more likely to be lucky when the firm had more entrenching provisions protecting insiders from the risk of removal, as well as when the board did not have a majority of independent directors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12811.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Publication status: published as Bebchuk, Lucian, Yaniv Grinstein, and Urs Peyer. “Lucky CEOs and Lucky Directors." Journal of Finance 65, 6 (2010): 2363-2401.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12811

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References

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  1. Chauvin, Keith W. & Shenoy, Catherine, 2001. "Stock price decreases prior to executive stock option grants," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-76, March.
  2. Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Ronald W. Masulis & Cong Wang & Fei Xie, 2007. "Corporate Governance and Acquirer Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1851-1889, 08.
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  5. Del Guercio, Diane & Dann, Larry Y. & Partch, M. Megan, 2003. "Governance and boards of directors in closed-end investment companies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 111-152, July.
  6. Yermack, David, 1997. " Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 449-76, June.
  7. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  8. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
  9. Guercio, Diane Del & Hawkins, Jennifer, 1999. "The motivation and impact of pension fund activism," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 293-340, June.
  10. Aboody, David & Kasznik, Ron, 2000. "CEO stock option awards and the timing of corporate voluntary disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-100, February.
  11. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  12. Byrd, John W. & Hickman, Kent A., 1992. "Do outside directors monitor managers? *1: Evidence from tender offer bids," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 195-221, October.
  13. Holderness, Clifford G. & Sheehan, Dennis P., 1988. "The role of majority shareholders in publicly held corporations : An exploratory analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 317-346, January.
  14. Jarrad Harford & Kai Li, 2007. "Decoupling CEO Wealth and Firm Performance: The Case of Acquiring CEOs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 917-949, 04.
  15. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Yaniv Grinstein & Urs Peyer, 2006. "Lucky CEOs," NBER Working Papers 12771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Cotter, James F. & Shivdasani, Anil & Zenner, Marc, 1997. "Do independent directors enhance target shareholder wealth during tender offers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 195-218, February.
  17. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2009. "What Matters in Corporate Governance?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 783-827, February.
  18. Murphy, Kevin J., 2003. "Stock-based pay in new economy firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-3), pages 129-147, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Sharma, Vineeta, 2011. "Independent directors and the propensity to pay dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1001-1015, September.
  2. Dilger, Alexander, 2012. "How (not) to pay non-executive directors," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 9/2012, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
  3. Farrell, Kathleen A. & Friesen, Geoffrey C. & Hersch, Philip L., 2008. "How do firms adjust director compensation?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 153-162, April.

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