Browsing by Subject "agency problems"

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  • Westman, Hanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-07-21)
    Banks are important as they have a central role in the financial system, where funds are channelled either through financial intermediaries, such as banks, or through financial markets, hence promoting growth in any economy. Recently, we have been reminded of the drawbacks of the central role of banks. The current financial crisis, which started out as a sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, has become a global financial crisis with substantial impact on the real economy in many countries. Some of the roots to the current financial crisis can be sought in the changing role of banks and in bank corporate governance. Moreover, the substantial revitalising measures taken have been justified by the central role of banks. Not only are banks important, they are also very special. The fact that banks are regulated in conjunction with greater opacity, make bank corporate governance different from corporate governance in non-bank companies. Surprisingly little is, however, known about bank corporate governance, in particularly, in a European setting. Hence, the objective of this doctoral thesis is to provide new insights in this research area by examining banks from 37 different European countries. Each of the three essays included in the doctoral thesis examines a particular aspect of bank corporate governance. In the first essay the interaction between the regulatory environment a bank operates in and its ownership structure is explored. Indicators of the severity of the moral hazard problem induced by the deposit insurance system and implicit too-big-to-fail government guarantee, particular features of deposit insurance systems as well as legal protection of shareholders, legal origin of a country and level of integration to the European community are used in the analysis. The empirical findings confirm previous findings on the link between legal protection of shareholders and ownership structure. Moreover, they show that differences in deposit insurance system features can explain some of the differences in ownership structure across European banks. In the second essay the impact of management and board ownership on the profitability of banks with different strategy is examined. The empirical findings suggest that the efficiency of these two particular corporate governance mechanisms varies with the characteristics of the agency problem faced by the bank. More specifically, management ownership is important in opaque non-traditional banks, whereas board ownership is important in traditional banks, where deposit insurance reduces the monitoring incentives of outsiders. The higher profitability does, however, go together with higher risk. In the third essay the profitability and risk of commercial, savings and cooperative banks are compared. The empirical findings suggest that distinct operational and ownership characteristics rather than only the mere fact that a bank is a commercial, savings or cooperative bank explain the profitability and risk differences. The main insight from the three essays is that a number of different aspects should be addressed simultaneously in order to give the complexity of bank corporate governance justice.
  • Keinonen, Henrik (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-12-08)
    The aim of this research is to study agency problems in entrepreneurial ventures and publicly listed companies (PLCs). Agency problems originate from asymmetric information, and can be detrimental to a firm’s investment attractiveness, high-growth ventures’ financial markets, and listed companies’ valuation. The overarching research question is what are the agency problems among entrepreneurial ventures and publicly listed companies, are these problems similar in nature, and can they be prevented or cured? The question is addressed in three different settings. Paper I reflects on business angel networks’ (BANs) value to startup entrepreneurs and their societal context, and provides statistics on BANs in Europe and the US. Paper II empirically investigates the impact of Israeli scaleup entrepreneurs’ criteria when selecting a Venture Capital (VC) firm, inverting the typical research order. Paper III contributes by providing answers to why certain blockholders in Finnish PLCs do not take responsibility for the company’s long-run development, but instead maximise their private utility. The authors employ descriptive statistics and quantitative research: interview data, an ordered logit regression model, longitudinal panel data with cross-sectional and time-series observations, and ordinary least squares regression. Agency problems in startups stem from the transactional process between entrepreneur and angel investor. In this setting, the entrepreneur might provide untruthful information to the investor or abuse the funding. BAN service quality may, however, reduce information asymmetries in entrepreneurial venture quality, and build trust between entrepreneurs and investors. BANs in more mature business angel markets tend to offer better quality services than those in less mature markets. Agency problems in scaleups manifest between VC firms and entrepreneurs, where VC managers may push entrepreneurs to take excessive risks that endanger their personal wealth. Empirically, entrepreneurial experience has a negative relationship with the importance entrepreneurs attach to valuation, which is moderated by the importance they attach to VC networks and reputation. Honest signalling of the parties’ qualities may reduce agency problems in the startup and scaleup phases. Large state ownership and company value are negatively associated, suggesting that government owners may promote political goals rather than long-term value for all shareholders. Liquidating state ownership in non-strategic companies and re-investing the assets through ETF funds would constitute a Pareto improvement. Ultimately, this study shows that agency problems are contextual and differ on the firm’s stage of development, namely startup, scaleup or PLC. But agency problems can be alleviated, which is important to the aggregate economy.