The impact of the market portfolio on the valuation, incentives and optimality of executive stock options
This paper examines the effect on valuation and incentives of allowing executives receiving options to trade on the market portfolio. We propose a continuous time utility maximization model to value stock and option compensation from the executive's perspective. The executive may invest non-option wealth in the market and riskless asset but not in the company stock itself, leaving them subject to firm-specific risk for incentive purposes. Since the executive is risk averse, this unhedgeable firm risk leads them to place less value on the options than their cost to the company. By distinguishing between these two types of risks, we are able to examine the effect of stock volatility, firm-specific risk and market risk on the value to the executive. In particular, options do not give incentive to increase total risk, but rather to increase the proportion of market relative to firm-specific risk, so executives prefer high beta companies. The paper also examines the relationship between risk and incentives, and finds firm-specific risk decreases incentives whilst market risk may decrease incentives depending on other parameters. The model supports the use of stock rather than options if the company can adjust cash pay when granting stock-based compensation.
Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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