The Effect of ‘Underwriter–Issuer’ Personal Connections on IPO Underpricing
51 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2018 Last revised: 17 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 15, 2021
Using a sample of U.S. initial public offerings (IPOs), we show that personal connections between directors and top executives of issuers and those of underwriting banks result in significantly lower levels of IPO underpricing. We estimate the average effect to be about 12 percentage points. The results hold with several alternative robustness tests including non-random choice of underwriter, additional controls for managerial traits, matching exercises and doubly robust estimation. Our results indicate that the effect of connections is significantly stronger for companies that are more likely to suffer from asymmetric information problems. This corroborates the idea that the lower level of underpricing for connected companies reflects better flow of information with the underwriter.
Keywords: IPO, underpricing, executive and director networks, asymmetric information
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