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Corporate governance

2016

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Other Economics

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How Corporate Governance Is Made: The Case Of The Golden Leash, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jan 2016

How Corporate Governance Is Made: The Case Of The Golden Leash, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article presents a case study of a corporate governance innovation—the incentive compensation arrangement for activist-nominated director candidates colloquially known as the “golden leash.” Golden leash compensation arrangements are a potentially valuable tool for activist shareholders in election contests. In response to their use, several issuers adopted bylaw provisions banning incentive compensation arrangements. Investors, in turn, viewed director adoption of golden leash bylaws as problematic and successfully pressured issuers to repeal them.

The study demonstrates how corporate governance provisions are developed and deployed, the sequential response of issuers and investors, and the central role played by governance intermediaries—activist ...