• Board characteristics;
  • China;
  • IPO performance

Board characteristics have not been a significant area of study in the IPO literature. We focus on the emerging corporate governance reform in China to investigate the relationship between a range of board characteristics and IPO initial returns and long-term performance. We find evidence that board size is positively related to short-term returns, while in the long-term, a positive relationship exists between performance and the voluntary post-listing separation of the roles of CEO and Chair of the Board. Our long-term results suggest that at least some Chinese listed firms are actively and voluntarily moving toward better governance structures.