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Equity‐based incentives and shareholder say‐on‐pay

Denton Collins, Blair B. Marquardt and Xu Niu

Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 2019, vol. 46, issue 5-6, 739-761

Abstract: We study the relationship between CEO pay‐performance sensitivity, pay‐risk sensitivity, and shareholder voting outcomes as part of the “say‐on‐pay” provision of the 2010 US Dodd‐Frank Act. Consistent with our hypothesis, we provide evidence that shareholders tend to approve of compensation packages that are more sensitive to changes in stock price (pay‐performance sensitivity). Our findings are consistent with theoretical predictions that outside owners approve of equity incentives as a means of aligning managers' interests with those of shareholders. We also document that future changes to equity‐based incentives are related to voting outcomes and that shareholders incorporate CFO incentives into their votes. Collectively, these results provide evidence of the importance of equity‐based incentives from the perspective of those most concerned with firm value and of the effectiveness of say‐on‐pay as a governance mechanism.

Date: 2019
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Journal of Business Finance & Accounting is currently edited by P. F. Pope, A. W. Stark and M. Walker

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