CEO Power and Mergers and Acquisitions

CEO Power and Mergers and Acquisitions

Ning Gong 

University of Melbourne; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Lixiong Guo 

Australian School of Business at UNSW; Financial Research Network (FIRN)
May 12, 2014
FIRN Research Paper

We find CEO power in acquiring firms can explain the occurrence of both large value creation and destruction deals in M&A. Specifically, we find firms with powerful CEOs make fewer deals and the returns on those deals are less dispersed. Firms with powerful CEOs are also less likely to do all cash deals and use a larger proportion of stocks in payments. We relate this to the incentive of powerful CEOs to avoid making big salient mistakes in major firm decisions to protect them from adverse career consequences. However, we also find that firms with powerful CEOs are more reluctant to withdraw deals given negative market reactions to the announcements of the deals, which suggests that powerful CEOs do pursue deals that increase their private benefits of control while avoiding deals with high ex ante uncertainty. Our evidence offers a new perspective on M&A deals with extreme returns and CEO objectives.

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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