IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/corfin/v17y2011i4p1078-1095.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

CEO pay incentives and risk-taking: Evidence from bank acquisitions

Author

Listed:
  • Hagendorff, Jens
  • Vallascas, Francesco

Abstract

We analyze how the structure of executive compensation affects the risk choices made by bank CEOs. For a sample of acquiring U.S. banks, we employ the Merton distance to default model to show that CEOs with higher pay-risk sensitivity engage in risk-inducing mergers. Our findings are driven by two types of acquisitions: acquisitions completed during the last decade (after bank deregulation had expanded banks' risk-taking opportunities) and acquisitions completed by the largest banks in our sample (where shareholders benefit from [`]too big to fail' support by regulators and gain most from shifting risk to other stakeholders). Our results control for CEO pay-performance sensitivity and offer evidence consistent with a causal link between financial stability and the risk-taking incentives embedded in the executive compensation contracts at banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Hagendorff, Jens & Vallascas, Francesco, 2011. "CEO pay incentives and risk-taking: Evidence from bank acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1078-1095, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:1078-1095
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929119911000502
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Amihud, Yakov & DeLong, Gayle L. & Saunders, Anthony, 2002. "The effects of cross-border bank mergers on bank risk and value," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 857-877, November.
    2. Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2009. "Executive compensation and competition in the banking and financial sectors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 495-504, March.
    3. Vallascas, Francesco & Hagendorff, Jens, 2011. "The impact of European bank mergers on bidder default risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 902-915, April.
    4. Houston, Joel F. & James, Christopher, 1995. "CEO compensation and bank risk Is compensation in banking structured to promote risk taking?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 405-431, November.
    5. Jalal D. Akhavein & Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, "undated". "The Effects of Megamergers on Efficiency and Prices: Evidence from a Bank Profit Function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 10 Dec 2019.
    6. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 391-405, December.
    7. Furfine, Craig H. & Rosen, Richard J., 2011. "Mergers increase default risk," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 832-849, September.
    8. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    9. Gropp, Reint & Vesala, Jukka & Vulpes, Giuseppe, 2006. "Equity and Bond Market Signals as Leading Indicators of Bank Fragility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 399-428, March.
    10. DeYoung, Robert & Roland, Karin P., 2001. "Product Mix and Earnings Volatility at Commercial Banks: Evidence from a Degree of Total Leverage Model," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-84, January.
    11. John, Kose & Saunders, Anthony & Senbet, Lemma W, 2000. "A Theory of Bank Regulation and Management Compensation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 95-125.
    12. Wagner, Wolf, 2008. "The homogenization of the financial system and financial crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 330-356, July.
    13. Kristina Minnick & Haluk Unal & Liu Yang, 2011. "Pay for Performance? CEO Compensation and Acquirer Returns in BHCs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(2), pages 439-472.
    14. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 2003. "Stock market driven acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 295-311, December.
    15. Aigbe Akhigbe & Jeff Madura & Anna D. Martin, 2007. "Effect Of Fed Policy Actions On The Default Likelihood Of Commercial Banks," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 30(1), pages 147-162, March.
    16. 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.
    17. Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger & Stulz, René M., 2011. "Bank CEO incentives and the credit crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 11-26, January.
    18. Yakov Amihud & Baruch Lev, 1981. "Risk Reduction as a Managerial Motive for Conglomerate Mergers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 605-617, Autumn.
    19. Elizabeth Webb, 2008. "Regulator Scrutiny and Bank CEO Incentives," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 5-20, February.
    20. Benston, George J & Hunter, William C & Wall, Larry D, 1995. "Motivations for Bank Mergers and Acquisitions: Enhancing the Deposit Insurance Put Option versus Earnings Diversification," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 777-788, August.
    21. Robert DeYoung & Douglas Evanoff & Philip Molyneux, 2009. "Mergers and Acquisitions of Financial Institutions: A Review of the Post-2000 Literature," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 87-110, December.
    22. Chen, Carl R. & Steiner, Thomas L. & Whyte, Ann Marie, 2006. "Does stock option-based executive compensation induce risk-taking? An analysis of the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 915-945, March.
    23. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2009. "A Multiplicative Model of Optimal CEO Incentives in Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4881-4917, December.
    24. Ben R. Craig & Joao A. C. Santos, 1997. "The risk effects of bank acquisitions," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 25-35.
    25. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2006. "Managerial incentives and risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 431-468, February.
    26. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    27. Bliss, Richard T. & Rosen, Richard J., 2001. "CEO compensation and bank mergers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 107-138, July.
    28. Alex Edmans & Qi Liu, 2011. "Inside Debt," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 15(1), pages 75-102.
    29. Pathan, Shams, 2009. "Strong boards, CEO power and bank risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1340-1350, July.
    30. John R. Graham & Daniel A. Rogers, 2002. "Do Firms Hedge in Response to Tax Incentives?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 815-839, April.
    31. Rajgopal, Shivaram & Shevlin, Terry, 2002. "Empirical evidence on the relation between stock option compensation and risk taking," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 145-171, June.
    32. Kevin Stiroh, 2006. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Bank Risk," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 237-263, December.
    33. Hubbard, R. Glenn & Palia, Darius, 1995. "Executive pay and performance Evidence from the U.S. banking industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 105-130, September.
    34. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, April.
    35. Hamid Mehran & Joshua V. Rosenberg, 2007. "The effect of employee stock options on bank investment choice, borrowing, and capital," Staff Reports 305, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    36. John Core & Wayne Guay, 2002. "Estimating the Value of Employee Stock Option Portfolios and Their Sensitivities to Price and Volatility," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 613-630, June.
    37. Sudip Datta & Mai Iskandar‐Datta & Kartik Raman, 2001. "Executive Compensation and Corporate Acquisition Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2299-2336, December.
    38. John, Kose & Mehran, Hamid & Qian, Yiming, 2010. "Outside monitoring and CEO compensation in the banking industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 383-399, September.
    39. 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, April.
    40. Robert DeYoung & Emma Y. Peng & Meng Yan, 2010. "Executive compensation and business policy choices at U.S. commercial banks," Research Working Paper RWP 10-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    41. repec:hrv:faseco:30748164 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. King, Timothy & Srivastav, Abhishek & Williams, Jonathan, 2016. "What's in an education? Implications of CEO education for bank performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 287-308.
    2. Jens Hagendorff & Francesco Vallascas, 2012. "CEO Pay and Risk-taking in Banking: The Roles of Bonus Plans and Deferred Compensation in Curbing Bank Risk-taking," Chapters, in: James R. Barth & Chen Lin & Clas Wihlborg (ed.), Research Handbook on International Banking and Governance, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bai, Gang & Elyasiani, Elyas, 2013. "Bank stability and managerial compensation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 799-813.
    4. Croci, Ettore & Petmezas, Dimitris, 2015. "Do risk-taking incentives induce CEOs to invest? Evidence from acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-23.
    5. Srivastav, Abhishek & Armitage, Seth & Hagendorff, Jens & King, Tim, 2018. "Better safe than sorry? CEO inside debt and risk-taking in bank acquisitions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 208-224.
    6. Lin Guo & Abu Jalal & Shahriar Khaksari, 2015. "Bank executive compensation structure, risk taking and the financial crisis," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 609-639, October.
    7. Al-Own, Bassam & Minhat, Marizah & Gao, Simon, 2018. "Stock options and credit default swaps in risk management," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 200-214.
    8. Mónica López-Puertas Lamy, 2012. "How does Ownership Structure Influence Bank Risk? Analyzing the Role of Managerial Incentives," Working Papers 1208, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Nov 2012.
    9. Mohamed Belkhir & Abdelaziz Chazi, 2010. "Compensation Vega, Deregulation, and Risk‐Taking: Lessons from the US Banking Industry," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9‐10), pages 1218-1247, November.
    10. Belkhir, Mohamed & Boubaker, Sabri, 2013. "CEO inside debt and hedging decisions: Lessons from the U.S. banking industry," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 223-246.
    11. Abascal, Ramón & González, Francisco, 2019. "Shareholder protection and bank executive compensation after the global financial crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 15-37.
    12. Srivastav, Abhishek & Armitage, Seth & Hagendorff, Jens, 2014. "CEO inside debt holdings and risk-shifting: Evidence from bank payout policies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 41-53.
    13. Yang, Xiaolou, 2017. "Reexamination of risk-taking incentives in banking: Realign incentives and curtail future episodes of mismanagement," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 238-248.
    14. Gande, Amar & Kalpathy, Swaminathan, 2017. "CEO compensation and risk-taking at financial firms: Evidence from U.S. federal loan assistance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 131-150.
    15. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Hunter, Delroy M. & Zhu, Yun, 2017. "Do managerial risk-taking incentives influence firms' exchange rate exposure?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 154-169.
    16. Vallascas, Francesco & Hagendorff, Jens, 2011. "The impact of European bank mergers on bidder default risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 902-915, April.
    17. Bruyland, Evy & Lasfer, Meziane & De Maeseneire, Wouter & Song, Wei, 2019. "The performance of acquisitions by high default risk bidders," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 37-58.
    18. Bharati, Rakesh & Jia, Jingyi, 2018. "Do bank CEOs really increase risk in vega? Evidence from a dynamic panel GMM specification," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 39-53.
    19. Jouahn Nam & Richard E. Ottoo & John H. Thornton Jr., 2003. "The Effect of Managerial Incentives to Bear Risk on Corporate Capital Structure and R&D Investment," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-101, February.
    20. Ingolf Dittmann & Ko-Chia Yu & Dan Zhang, 2017. "How Important Are Risk-Taking Incentives in Executive Compensation?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(5), pages 1805-1846.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:1078-1095. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.