Initial Compensation Contracts for New Executives and Financial Distress Risk: An Empirical Investigation of UK Firms
63 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2015 Last revised: 10 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 30, 2017
This paper analyses the effect of financial distress risk on the initial compensation contracts of new executives in the UK, where credit markets are more concentrated than in the US. We find that financial distress risk has a negative and statistically significant impact on the level of cash-based compensation and total compensation of executives, who are newly hired from either outside or inside the firm. This negative impact is accentuated in firms with a high fraction of bank debt, suggesting that banks, as creditors, provide monitoring and influence initial executive compensation packages in firms with high financial distress risk. Additionally, we find that financial distress risk has a negative and significant impact on the fraction of equity-based compensation for both externally and internally appointed executives.
Keywords: Executive compensation; financial distress risk; bank monitoring
JEL Classification: G3
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