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Keywords:

  • executive compensation;
  • managerial power;
  • agency theory
  • G34;
  • J33

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of M&As on bidder (CEO and other) executive compensation employing a unique sample of 100 completed bids in the UK over the 1998–2001 period. Our findings indicate that less independent and larger boards award CEOs significantly higher bonuses and salary following M&A completion both for the full sample and for the UK and US sub-samples. UK CEOs and executives are rewarded more for the effort exerted in accomplishing intra-industry or large mergers than for diversifying or small mergers and their cash pay is unaffected by other measures of their managerial skill or performance. US bidders are rewarded at higher levels than their UK counterparts and their remuneration is related only to measures of CEO dominance over the board of directors. Overall our findings offer support for the managerial power rather than the agency theory perspective on managerial compensation.