Entries by Alex Edmans

Conflicts of Interest Among Proxy Advisors

The Importance of Proxy Advisors Proxy advisors play a critical role in corporate governance. One important way in which shareholders exert governance – ensure that executives act in shareholders’ interest, rather than their own interest – is through voting. Votes can be for particular directors (who monitor executives), for or against a say-on-pay vote, or for […]

House of Commons Report on Corporate Governance

Today the House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its report on corporate governance, after extensive consultation of oral and written testimony from a wide range of stakeholders. I applaud the Select Committee for such an extensive, thorough job with an issue of national importance, and am personally grateful […]

Blockchains: How they work, and how they may transform the world

(This post was originally featured in the Review of Finance Managing Editor’s blog, which summarizes the lead article of each issue in a non-technical manner.) We hear blockchains mentioned all the time, but very few people know what they actually are, how they work, and what effect they may have.  The paper “Corporate Governance and Blockchains”, by David Yermack […]

Long-Term Executive Incentives Improve Innovation and Corporate Responsibility

Executive compensation is fixed and needs reform. But, most of the calls for reform focus on the wrong dimensions. They focus on the level of pay, or the ratio of executive pay to median worker pay – even though the evidence suggests that low ratios are linked to lower future performance. As I have argued in the Wall Street […]

Why the MSCI Study Does NOT Show That Equity Incentives Backfire

MSCI have released an impactful study entitled “Are CEOs Paid for Performance? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Equity Incentives”, purporting to show that equity incentives lead to poor long-term performance. In simple language, they just don’t work. This study has been highly influential and seized upon by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Fortune as “smoking gun” evidence that […]

Translating the New USS Pension Rules Into Plain English

Andy Haldane, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, said that pensions are so complex that even someone “moderately financially literate” like he can’t understand them. This complexity certainly applies to pension tax rules when combined with changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (for employees of UK universities): despite being a finance professor, it’s taken […]