Friends in Need are Friends Indeed: An Analysis of Social Ties between Financial Analysts and Mutual Fund Managers
58 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 25 Jan 2018
Date Written: October 31, 2016
We examine how hometown, school, and workplace social ties between financial analysts and mutual fund managers affect their business decisions. We show that a fund manager is more likely to hold stocks covered by analysts with whom she is socially connected and that she also makes higher profits from these holdings. The holding returns are higher for more opaque firms. In return, a fund manager tends to cast her star analyst votes in favor of her connected analysts and her fund company is more likely to allocate trading commissions to her connected analysts’ brokerages. Additional tests indicate that analysts more actively acquire information (through conducting corporate site visits) and issue more optimistically biased recommendations for stocks held by fund managers with whom they are connected. Overall, our results illustrate the influence of social networks on the behaviors of analysts and fund managers.
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