The Myth of the Lead Arranger’s Share
89 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020 Last revised: 3 Nov 2022
Date Written: May 1, 2020
We challenge theories that lead arrangers retain shares of syndicated loans to overcome information asymmetries. Lead arrangers frequently sell their entire loan stake—in over 50 percent of term and 70 percent of institutional loans. These selloffs usually occur days after origination, with lead arrangers retaining no other borrower exposure in 37 percent of selloff cases. Counter to theories, sold loans perform better than retained loans. Our results imply that information asymmetries could be lower than commonly assumed or mitigated by alternative mechanisms such as underwriting risk. We also provide guidance for Dealscan users on how to approximate loan ownership after origination.
Keywords: syndicated lending, loan sales, lead arranger
JEL Classification: G21, G24, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation