IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tiu/tiucen/cc25d736-2965-4511-b100-137a288e03d9.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Shareholder Activism through the Proxy Process

Author

Listed:
  • Renneboog, L.D.R.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Szilagyi, P.G.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the corporate governance role of shareholderinitiated proxy proposals. Previous studies debate over whether activists use proxy proposals to discipline firms or to simply advance their self-serving agendas, and whether proxy proposals are effective at all in addressing governance concerns. Using the largest sample yet examined as well as extensive controls for governance quality, we find that activists use the proxy process as a disciplinary mechanism, and as such are valuable monitoring agents. Moreover, proposal announcements in the proxy statements have positive stock price effects, and both the market and the voting shareholders respond as much to the target firm’s governance quality as to the proposal’s objective and sponsoring shareholder. We address the endogeneity of target selection and proposal success using sample selection models. We conclude that shareholder proposals have nontrivial control benefits, countering arguments that they should be restricted by the SEC.

Suggested Citation

  • Renneboog, L.D.R. & Szilagyi, P.G., 2009. "Shareholder Activism through the Proxy Process," Discussion Paper 2009-65, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:cc25d736-2965-4511-b100-137a288e03d9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://pure.uvt.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/1109287/2009-65.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bhagat, Sanjai, 1983. "The effect of pre-emptive right amendments on shareholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 289-310, November.
    2. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79, March.
    3. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58, January.
    4. Bhagat, Sanjai & Brickley, James A, 1984. "Cumulative Voting: The Value of Minority Shareholder Voting Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 339-365, October.
    5. Gordon, Lilli A & Pound, John, 1993. " Information, Ownership Structure, and Shareholder Voting: Evidence from Shareholder-Sponsored Corporate Governance Proposals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 697-718, June.
    6. Prevost, Andrew K & Rao, Ramesh P, 2000. "Of What Value Are Shareholder Proposals Sponsored by Public Pension Funds?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(2), pages 177-204, April.
    7. English, Philip II & Smythe, Thomas I. & McNeil, Chris R., 2004. "The "CalPERS effect" revisited," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 157-174, January.
    8. April Klein & Emanuel Zur, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Shareholder Activism: Hedge Funds and Other Private Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 187-229, February.
    9. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    10. Choi, Stephen J., 2000. "Proxy Issue Proposals: Impact of the 1992 Proxy SEC Proxy Reforms," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6g6118kk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    11. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
    12. Dlugosz, Jennifer & Fahlenbrach, Rudiger & Gompers, Paul & Metrick, Andrew, 2006. "Large blocks of stock: Prevalence, size, and measurement," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 594-618, June.
    13. Davis, Gerald F. & Kim, E. Han, 2007. "Business ties and proxy voting by mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 552-570, August.
    14. Marco Becht & Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Stefano Rossi, 2010. "Returns to Shareholder Activism: Evidence from a Clinical Study of the Hermes UK Focus Fund," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Governance National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    16. Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Frank Partnoy & Randall Thomas, 2008. "Hedge Fund Activism, Corporate Governance, and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1729-1775, August.
    17. Brickley, James A. & Lease, Ronald C. & Smith, Clifford Jr., 1988. "Ownership structure and voting on antitakeover amendments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 267-291, January.
    18. Borokhovich, Kenneth A & Brunarski, Kelly & Harman, Yvette S & Parrino, Robert, 2006. "Variation in the Monitoring Incentives of Outside Stockholders," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 651-680, October.
    19. Brickley, James A., 1986. "Interpreting Common Stock Returns around Proxy Statement Disclosures and Annual Shareholder Meetings," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 343-349, September.
    20. Cornett, Marcia Millon & Marcus, Alan J. & Saunders, Anthony & Tehranian, Hassan, 2007. "The impact of institutional ownership on corporate operating performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1771-1794, June.
    21. Pound, John, 1988. "Proxy contests and the efficiency of shareholder oversight," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 237-265, January.
    22. Boehmer, Ekkehart & Masumeci, Jim & Poulsen, Annette B., 1991. "Event-study methodology under conditions of event-induced variance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 253-272, December.
    23. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1984. "Tobit models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 3-61.
    24. Guercio, Diane Del & Hawkins, Jennifer, 1999. "The motivation and impact of pension fund activism," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 293-340, June.
    25. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-264, April.
    26. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    27. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    28. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2009. "What Matters in Corporate Governance?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 783-827, February.
    29. Nelson, James M., 2006. "The "CalPERS effect" revisited again," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-213, January.
    30. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    31. Thomas, Randall S. & Cotter, James F., 2007. "Shareholder proposals in the new millennium: Shareholder support, board response, and market reaction," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 368-391, June.
    32. Chen, Xia & Harford, Jarrad & Li, Kai, 2007. "Monitoring: Which institutions matter?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 279-305, November.
    33. Willard T. Carleton & James M. Nelson & Michael S. Weisbach, 1998. "The Influence of Institutions on Corporate Governance through Private Negotiations: Evidence from TIAA-CREF," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1335-1362, August.
    34. Del Guercio, Diane & Seery, Laura & Woidtke, Tracie, 2008. "Do boards pay attention when institutional investor activists "just vote no"?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 84-103, October.
    35. Wu, YiLin, 2004. "The impact of public opinion on board structure changes, director career progression, and CEO turnover: evidence from CalPERS' corporate governance program," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 199-227, January.
    36. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Malatesta, Paul H. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1996. "Corporate governance and shareholder initiatives: Empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 365-395, November.
    37. K. J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair & Kose John, 2009. "Takeovers and the Cross-Section of Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1409-1445, April.
    38. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    39. Stuart L. Gillan & Laura T. Starks, 2007. "The Evolution of Shareholder Activism in the United States," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(1), pages 55-73, January.
    40. Wahal, Sunil, 1996. "Pension Fund Activism and Firm Performance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-23, March.
    41. Bizjak, John M. & Marquette, Christopher J., 1998. "Are Shareholder Proposals All Bark and No Bite? Evidence from Shareholder Resolutions to Rescind Poison Pills," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 499-521, December.
    42. Choi, Stephen, 2000. "Proxy Issue Proposals: Impact of the 1992 SEC Proxy Reforms," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 233-268, April.
    43. Roberta Romano, 2001. "Less is More: Making Shareholder Activism a Valuable Mechanism of Corporate Governance," CeRP Working Papers 12, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    44. Greenwood, Robin & Schor, Michael, 2009. "Investor activism and takeovers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 362-375, June.
    45. Smith, Michael P, 1996. " Shareholder Activism by Institutional Investors: Evidence for CalPERS," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 227-252, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Peter Cziraki & Luc Renneboog & Peter G. Szilagyi, 2010. "Shareholder Activism through Proxy Proposals: The European Perspective," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 16(5), pages 738-777, November.
    2. repec:aic:jopafl:y:2015:v:s2:p:46-60 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shareholder activism; shareholder proposals; corporate governance; sample selection;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:cc25d736-2965-4511-b100-137a288e03d9. 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: (Richard Broekman). General contact details of provider: http://center.uvt.nl .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.