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Competing for Securities Underwriting Mandates: Banking Relationships and Analyst Recommendations





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    • Ljungqvist is from the New York University Stern School of Business and the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London; Marston is from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce; and, Wilhelm is from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce and the Oxford University Saïd Business School. We are grateful to Bill Greene, Rob Stambaugh (the editor), and an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions, to Rajesh Aggarwal, Susan Chaplinsky, Randy Cohen, Francesca Cornelli (our NBER discussant), Josh Coval, David Denis, Greg Duffee, Darrell Duffie, Ken Eades, Joel Hasbrouck, Florian Heider, Harrison Hong, Ajay Khorana (our WFA discussant), Ross Levine, Robert Marquez, Stefan Nagel, Jay Ritter, Rick Ruback, Gideon Saar, Tony Saunders, Anna Scherbina, Peter Tufano, Daniel Wolfenzon, and Jeff Wurgler for useful thoughts, and to seminar audiences at Harvard Business School, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Minnesota, Tulane University, Oxford University, Vanderbilt Law School, the University of Virginia, the NYU Monday Seminar, the Norwegian School of Economics, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the 2003 NBER Summer Institute, the 2003 Oxford Summer Finance Symposium, and the 2003 Western Finance Association meetings for comments. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Thomson Financial for providing broker recommendations data, available through the Institutional Brokers Estimate System. These data have been provided as part of a broad academic program to encourage earnings expectations research. All errors are our own.


We investigate whether analyst behavior influenced banks' likelihood of winning underwriting mandates for a sample of 16,625 U.S. debt and equity offerings in 1993–2002. We control for the strength of the issuer's investment banking relationships with potential competitors for the mandate, prior lending relationships, and the endogeneity of analyst behavior and the bank's decision to provide analyst coverage. Although analyst behavior was influenced by economic incentives, we find no evidence that aggressive analyst behavior increased their bank's probability of winning an underwriting mandate. The main determinant of the lead-bank choice is the strength of prior underwriting and lending relationships.