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Independent Directors and Board Control in Venture Finance

  • Broughman, Brian
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    The financial contracting literature treats control as an indivisible right held either by a firm’s entrepreneurs or by its investors. In contrast, data from VC-backed firms shows that board control is typically shared, with a third-party independent director holding the tie-breaking board seat (‘ID-arbitration’). In this article I use a bargaining game similar to final offer arbitration to model a firm’s choice of action under ID-arbitration. I show that ID-arbitration can reduce holdup by moderating each party’s ex post threat position. Consequently, ID-arbitration can lead to the efficient outcome in circumstances where alternative governance arrangements – entrepreneur control, investor control, or state-contingent control – are either unavailable or likely to lead to suboptimal results. This project has implications for the literature on financial contracting and the theory of the firm.

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    Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt9w966114.

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    Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt9w966114
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    1. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
    2. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    3. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Leslie M. Marx, 1998. "Efficient venture capital financing combining debt and equity," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 371-387.
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    7. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
    8. Oliver Hart, 2001. "Financial Contracting," NBER Working Papers 8285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2003. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1139-1166, 06.
    10. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2003. "Boards of directors as an endogenously determined institution: a survey of the economic literature," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 7-26.
    11. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," CRSP working papers 513, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    12. Nöldeke, Georg & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1995. "Option contracts and renegotiation: A solution to the Hold-Up Problem," Munich Reprints in Economics 19329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    13. Mathias Dewatripont & Philippe Aghion & Patrick Rey, 1994. "Renegotiation design with unverifiable information," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9591, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Steven J. Brams & Samuel Merrill, III, 1983. "Equilibrium Strategies for Final-Offer Arbitration: There is no Median Convergence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(8), pages 927-941, August.
    15. Hellmann, Thomas F., 2002. "IPOs, Acquisitions and the Use of Convertible Securities in Venture Capital," Research Papers 1702r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    16. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1996. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," Microeconomics 9602001, EconWPA, revised 09 Oct 1996.
    17. Berglof, Erik, 1994. "A Control Theory of Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 247-67, October.
    18. Andrei A. Kirilenko, 2001. "Valuation and Control in Venture Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-587, 04.
    19. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    20. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
    21. Fried, Jesse M. & Ganor, Mira, 2006. "Agency Costs of Venture Capitalist Control in Startups," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5rz3w67b, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
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