Institutional Monitoring and REIT CEO Compensation
Posted: 23 Mar 2016
Date Written: May 1, 2010
Our objective in this paper is to investigate the relationship between institutional ownership and CEO compensation structure of REITs. Based on detailed analyses of data on institutional ownership, performance, CEO and board characteristics over the 10 year period 1998–2007, we find significant evidence that large institutions influence governance through CEO compensation — greater institutional ownership is associated with greater emphasis on incentive-based compensation (higher pay-performance sensitivity of CEO compensation), and higher cash and total compensation for CEOs. Further, we find that institutions are less active when managers are performing in a superior fashion. Two important conclusions emerge from the analysis. First, similar to unregulated firms, institutional owners do act as monitors in REITs. Broadly, this result suggests that governance is necessary for REITs. Second, institutional investors set a high pay-performance sensitivity for CEOs, but are willing to pay higher cash compensation to induce managers to take risk.
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