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Managerial shareholding policies and retention of vested equity incentives

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  • Korczak, Piotr
  • Liu, Xicheng

Abstract

Previous literature documents that executives tend to cash out equity incentives when equity-linked compensation vests. Such a behavior destroys long-term incentives and hence is costly to outside shareholders. It is recommended that the unloading of incentives can be limited when the firm adopts a minimum executive shareholding policy. We provide the first evidence of the effectiveness of such policies in that respect. Using data for UK FTSE 350 companies we show that executives whose ownership is below the minimum set by the policy retain more newly vesting equity and the incentives to retain shares weaken when the holdings are above the minimum. We also document economic implications of compliance with the policy and we find higher firm valuations when actual ownership increases relative to the minimum holdings required. Our results have implications for the debate on executive remuneration regulations and practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Korczak, Piotr & Liu, Xicheng, 2014. "Managerial shareholding policies and retention of vested equity incentives," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 116-129.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:27:y:2014:i:c:p:116-129
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jempfin.2013.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equity-linked pay; Cashing out; Shareholding policies;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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