Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics between executive ownership and excess cash policy in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The authors identify firms adopting an excess policy using a joint criterion of high cash and cash higher than the target. Logit analysis is used to estimate the impact of executive ownership and other governance characteristics on the probability of adopting an excess cash policy. Findings – The results suggest that, in the UK, the impact of the executive ownership on the probability of adopting an excess cash policy is non-monotonic, in line with the alignment-entrenchment hypothesis. The results are robust to different definitions of excess cash policy, to alternative specifications of the regression model, to different estimation frameworks and to alternative proxies of ownership concentration. Research limitations/implications – The authors’ approach provides a new measure of the excess target cash for the firm. They show the need to identify an excess target cash policy not only by using an empirical criterion and a theoretical target level of cash, but also by capturing persistence in deviation from the target cash level. The authors’ measure of excess target cash calls into questions findings from previous studies. The authors’ approach can be used to explore whether excess cash holdings of UK firms and the impact of managerial ownership have changed from before the crisis to after the crisis. Practical implications – The authors’ measure of excess target cash allows identifying in practice levels of cash which are abnormal with respect to an equilibrium level. UK firms should be cautious in using executive ownership as a corporate governance mechanism, as this may generate suboptimal cash holdings and suboptimal firm value. Excess cash policy might be driven not only by a poor corporate governance system, but also by the interplay between agency costs of managerial opportunism and cost of the external finance which further research could explore. Originality/value – Actually, “how much cash is too much” is a question that has not been addressed by the literature. The authors address this question. Also, this amount of cash allows the authors to study the extent to which executive ownership contributes to explain the out-of-equilibrium persistency in the cash level.

Does executive ownership lead to excess target cash? The case of UK firms

Iona, Alfonsina
Primo
;
Leonida, Leone;
2017

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics between executive ownership and excess cash policy in the UK. Design/methodology/approach – The authors identify firms adopting an excess policy using a joint criterion of high cash and cash higher than the target. Logit analysis is used to estimate the impact of executive ownership and other governance characteristics on the probability of adopting an excess cash policy. Findings – The results suggest that, in the UK, the impact of the executive ownership on the probability of adopting an excess cash policy is non-monotonic, in line with the alignment-entrenchment hypothesis. The results are robust to different definitions of excess cash policy, to alternative specifications of the regression model, to different estimation frameworks and to alternative proxies of ownership concentration. Research limitations/implications – The authors’ approach provides a new measure of the excess target cash for the firm. They show the need to identify an excess target cash policy not only by using an empirical criterion and a theoretical target level of cash, but also by capturing persistence in deviation from the target cash level. The authors’ measure of excess target cash calls into questions findings from previous studies. The authors’ approach can be used to explore whether excess cash holdings of UK firms and the impact of managerial ownership have changed from before the crisis to after the crisis. Practical implications – The authors’ measure of excess target cash allows identifying in practice levels of cash which are abnormal with respect to an equilibrium level. UK firms should be cautious in using executive ownership as a corporate governance mechanism, as this may generate suboptimal cash holdings and suboptimal firm value. Excess cash policy might be driven not only by a poor corporate governance system, but also by the interplay between agency costs of managerial opportunism and cost of the external finance which further research could explore. Originality/value – Actually, “how much cash is too much” is a question that has not been addressed by the literature. The authors address this question. Also, this amount of cash allows the authors to study the extent to which executive ownership contributes to explain the out-of-equilibrium persistency in the cash level.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
3137583.pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)
Dimensione 400.56 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
400.56 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3137583
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact