IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The application of principal-agent methods to investor-investee relations in the UK venture capital industry

Listed author(s):
  • Gavin C. Reid

This paper appeals to UK evidence on venture capital. The investor is regarded as the principal, and the investee as the agent. Relations between the two are analysed in terms of risk management, information handling, and the trading of risk and information. In the data analysed, investors and investees are paired in 'dyads'. The evidence on their behaviour and interaction was obtained by face-to-face interviews. A principal-agent model is developed to deal with incentives for entrepreneurial effort. From this, issues of information and monitoring naturally arise. Then the seeking of contract optimality in real contexts is examined, applying this framework to qualitative data. It is argued that evidence viewed in this way supports the application of principal-agent modelling to the financing of mature small firms by venture capitalists. The feature of contract optimality that was perceived to be most important was capital structure. There were several reasons for this: establishing ownership entitlement; creating incentives for effort; and apportioning risk efficiently. Often the observed relations between investor and investee were perceived to be at or close to optimality. It was found that these optima were specific to time and place, and strongly reflected the house-styles of individual investors and their reputations.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Venture Capital.

Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 285-302

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:veecee:v:1:y:1999:i:4:p:285-302
DOI: 10.1080/136910699295820
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:veecee:v:1:y:1999:i:4:p:285-302. 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: (Michael McNulty)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.