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Independent Directors and Board Control in Venture Finance

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  • Broughman, Brian

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Broughman, Brian, 2008. "Independent Directors and Board Control in Venture Finance," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt9w966114, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt9w966114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
    2. 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.
    3. Oliver Hart, 2001. "Financial Contracting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1079-1100, December.
    4. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2003. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1139-1166, June.
    5. Crawford, Vincent P, 1979. "On Compulsory-Arbitration Schemes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 131-159, February.
    6. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    7. Hellmann, Thomas, 2006. "IPOs, acquisitions, and the use of convertible securities in venture capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 649-679, September.
    8. 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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    14. Leslie M. Marx, 1998. "Efficient venture capital financing combining debt and equity," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 3(4), pages 371-387.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    G24; G32; G34. K12; K22; M13;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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