The Value of Say on Pay
2019, Kind, Axel, Poltera, Marco, Zaia, Johannes
This paper measures the influence of "say on pay" (SoP) - mandatory shareholder votes on top-management compensation - on the market value of corporate voting rights. By exploiting the staggered introduction of SoP regulations across ten major European economies, we show by difference-in-differences (DiD) regressions that the value of voting rights at annual shareholder meetings - extracted from prices of liquid options - has increased for firms with excessive CEO pay, while it has decreased for other companies. Surprisingly, shareholders tend to value advisory SoP votes but not the stricter binding votes. Thus, the option to signal dissent with current compensation via SoP votes is not per se valuable and can actually translate into net costs for shareholders. Finally, the effect of mandatory SoP on voting values is concentrated on the year of introduction and fades out over time. Placebo regressions support the accuracy of our DiD research design.
The value of corporate voting rights embedded in option prices
2013, Kind, Axel, Poltera, Marco
This paper proposes and tests a new method to extract the value of corporate voting rights from market prices of American-style single-stock options. The method models voting-right values as non-cash dividends and backs them out via numerical optimization from prices of equity options. Simulation experiments show that the method is accurate and outperforms existing option-based approaches by reducing their measurement error from 17.2% to 1.57% in terms of root mean squared errors and almost eliminates their bias.
The paper also contributes an empirical analysis of corporate voting-right values in European companies in the time period between 2003 and 2010. Voting rights have an annualized average value of 0.37% of the share price and are significantly worth more in months in which either ordinary or extraordinary general meetings take place but no single shareholder holds a majority stake in the company. Finally, voting values are higher in companies incorporated in French-civil-law countries (France and the Netherlands) than in German-civil-law countries (Germany and Switzerland).