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Us knows us in the UK: On director networks and CEO compensation

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  • Renneboog, Luc
  • Zhao, Yang

Abstract

We analyze the relation between CEO compensation and networks of executive and non-executive directors for all listed UK companies over the period 1996-2007. We examine whether networks are built for reasons of information gathering or for the accumulation of managerial influence. Both indirect networks (enabling directors to collect information) and direct networks (leading to more managerial influence) enable the CEO to obtain higher compensation. Direct networks can harm the efficiency of the remuneration contracting in the sense that the performance sensitivity of compensation is then lower. We find that in companies with strong networks and hence busy boards the directors' monitoring effectiveness is reduced which leads to higher and less performance-sensitive CEO compensation. Our results suggest that it is important to have the [`]right' type of network: some networks enable a firm to access valuable information whereas others can lead to strong managerial influence that may come at the detriment of the firm and its shareholders. We confirm that there are marked conflicts of interest when a CEO increases his influence by being a member of board committees (such as the remuneration committee) as we observe that his or her compensation is then significantly higher. We also find that hiring remuneration consultants with sizeable client networks also leads to higher CEO compensation especially for larger firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Renneboog, Luc & Zhao, Yang, 2011. "Us knows us in the UK: On director networks and CEO compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1132-1157, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:1132-1157
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vidhi Chhaochharia & Yaniv Grinstein, 2009. "CEO Compensation and Board Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 231-261, February.
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    14. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Who Disciplines Management in Poorly Performing Companies?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 209-248, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steve Sauerwald & Zhiang (John) Lin & Mike W. Peng, 2016. "Board social capital and excess CEO returns," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 498-520, March.
    2. Renneboog, Luc & Zhao, Yang, 2014. "Director networks and takeovers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 218-234.
    3. R. Andergassen, 2011. "Board of director collusion, managerial incentives and firm values," Working Papers wp795, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. Fernández Méndez, Carlos & Pathan, Shams & Arrondo García, Rubén, 2015. "Monitoring capabilities of busy and overlap directors: Evidence from Australia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 444-469.
    5. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs," CEPR Discussion Papers 8623, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:658-673 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Goergen, Marc & Limbach, Peter & Scholz, Meik, 2015. "Mind the gap: The age dissimilarity between the chair and the CEO," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 136-158.
    8. Liu, Yun, 2014. "Outside options and CEO turnover: The network effect," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 201-217.
    9. repec:eee:intfin:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:156-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Goergen, Marc & Renneboog, Luc, 2014. "Inside the board room," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-5.
    11. Andres, Christian & Fernau, Erik & Theissen, Erik, 2014. "Should I stay or should I go? Former CEOs as monitors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 26-47.
    12. Martynova, Marina & Renneboog, Luc, 2011. "Evidence on the international evolution and convergence of corporate governance regulations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1531-1557.
    13. Simona Catuogno & Sara Saggese & Fabrizia Sarto & Riccardo Viganò, 2016. "Shedding light on the aim of stock options: a literature review," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(2), pages 387-411, June.
    14. Geiler, Philipp & Renneboog, Luc, 2015. "Are female top managers really paid less?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 345-369.
    15. Allgood, Sam & Farrell, Kathleen A. & Kamal, Rashiqa, 2012. "Do boards know when they hire a CEO that is a good match? Evidence from initial compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1051-1064.
    16. Harkin, Sean M. & Mare, Davide S. & Crook, Jonathan N., 2017. "Average Pay in Banks: Do Agency Problems and Bank Performance Matter?," MPRA Paper 81249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Drago, Carlo & Millo, Francesco & Ricciuti, Roberto & Santella, Paolo, 2015. "Corporate governance reforms, interlocking directorship and company performance in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 38-49.
    18. Yan Liu & Carol Padgett & Simone Varotto, 2014. "Corporate Governance, Bank Mergers and Executive Compensation," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2014-18, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    19. Lalanne, Marie & Seabright, Paul, 2016. "The old boy network: The impact of professional networks on remuneration in top executive jobs," SAFE Working Paper Series 123, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    20. Feito Ruiz, Isabel & Renneboog, Luc, 2017. "Takeovers and (Excess) CEO Compensation," Discussion Paper 2017-039, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    21. Emma Schultz & Gloria Y. Tian & Garry Twite, 2013. "Corporate Governance and the CEO Pay–Performance Link: Australian Evidence," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 447-472, December.
    22. Chung, Huimin & Judge, William Q. & Li, Yi-Hua, 2015. "Voluntary disclosure, excess executive compensation, and firm value," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 64-90.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Executive remuneration Professional and social networks Corporate governance Managerial power Remuneration consultants;

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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