Corporate Governance Through Voice and Exit

75 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2019 Last revised: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by Marco Becht

Marco Becht

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Julian R. Franks

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Hannes F. Wagner

Bocconi University - Department of Finance; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: October 1, 2019

Abstract

How do active managers engage with portfolio firms? And, what role does monitoring and engagement play in their trading decisions? We use proprietary data from a large UK active asset manager with a long-standing commitment to stewardship to answer these questions. Our sample, based on nine years of daily data, provides a detailed picture of how fund managers’ decisions are influenced by monitoring target firms, especially through private engagements. Internal analysts and a centralised stewardship team monitor the board and management and place portfolio companies on a watch list when there are governance or other concerns. The asset manager engages more intensively with the watch list, abstaining or voting against management proposals in a third of meetings. More intensive engagement and negative votes against are associated with internal analyst downgrades and with exit by fund managers. We provide evidence that monitoring and engagement generate information advantages, which in turn contribute to alpha. Our results provide strong support for voice influencing exit.

Keywords: asset management, active ownership, corporate stewardship, shareholder monitoring, shareholder engagement, analyst research, institutional investors, corporate governance, voice and exit

JEL Classification: G11, G14, G23, G34

Suggested Citation

Becht, Marco and Franks, Julian R. and Wagner, Hannes F., Corporate Governance Through Voice and Exit (October 1, 2019). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 633/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3456626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3456626

Marco Becht (Contact Author)

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) ( email )

42 Avenue F. D. Roosevelt
1050
Brussels, 1050
Belgium
+32 2 6504466 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.solvay.edu/profile/marcobecht

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

Palace of the Academies
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogstraat
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.global/users/marco-becht

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Julian R. Franks

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting ( email )

Institute of Finance and Accounting
Sussex Place - Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
+44 20 7262 5050 x3449 (Phone)
+44 20 7724 3317 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Hannes F. Wagner

Bocconi University - Department of Finance ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milano, MI 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.unibocconi.eu/hanneswagner

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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