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The Pricing of Insurer Demutualization Initial Public Offerings


  • Krupa S. Viswanathan


This article examines the pricing of the initial public offerings (IPOs) that follow insurance company demutualizations. Insurers that convert from mutual to stock form typically cite the need for capital as a key motivation. Given that capital adequacy is a primary regulatory objective for insurers, one would expect that for a given number of shares to be sold, these firms would price their offerings to maximize proceeds. However, the vast literature on IPO pricing suggests various theories as to why it may be in the issuing firm's best interest to underprice its offering. By examining the initial and long-run stock returns for these conversion IPOs, the existence and degree of underpricing, as characterized by large initial returns, can be determined. It is observed that on average demutualization insurer IPOs post significantly higher first-day returns than nondemutualization insurer IPOs. These gains would accrue to the initial investors and to those policyholders who receive compensation in the form of shares in the newly created stock insurer. Attractive returns are sustained for both groups of insurers during the first few years after IPO. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Krupa S. Viswanathan, 2006. "The Pricing of Insurer Demutualization Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(3), pages 439-468.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:73:y:2006:i:3:p:439-468

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    Cited by:

    1. Anaïs Périlleux & Marthe Nyssens, 2016. "Understanding Cooperative Finance as a New Common," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Xie, Xiaoying, 2010. "Are publicly held firms less efficient? Evidence from the US property-liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1549-1563, July.
    3. Elango, B., 2009. "Minimizing effects of 'liability of foreignness': Response strategies of foreign firms in the United States," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 51-62, January.
    4. Braun, Alexander & Schmeiser, Hato & Rymaszewski, Przemysław, 2015. "Stock vs. mutual insurers: Who should and who does charge more?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(3), pages 875-889.
    5. Otchere, Isaac & Owusu-Antwi, George & Mohsni, Sana, 2013. "Why are stock exchange IPOs so underpriced and yet outperform in the long run?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 76-98.

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