The Incentives for Vertical Mergers and Vertical Integration; firms in high R&D industries are less likely to vertically integrate or engage in vertical mergers, and are more likely to initiate customer or supplier relationships outside of the firm

The Incentives for Vertical Mergers and Vertical Integration

Laurent Frésard University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business

Gerard Hoberg University of Maryland – Department of Finance

Gordon M. Phillips University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

March 31, 2013

We examine the incentives for firms to vertically integrate through vertical mergers and production. We develop a new firm-specific measure of vertical integration using 10-K text to identify the extent a firm’s products span vertically related product markets. We find that firms in high R&D industries are less likely to vertically integrate or engage in vertical mergers, and are more likely to initiate customer or supplier relationships outside of the firm. These findings are consistent with firms with unrealized innovation avoiding integration to maintain ex ante incentives to make relationship specific investments and maintain residual rights of control as in Grossman and Hart (1986). In contrast, firms in high patenting industries with stable product markets are more likely to vertically integrate consistent with control rights being obtained by firms to facilitate commercialization of already realized innovation.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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