Les marchés et la gouvernance des entreprises

CAMBRIDGE – Les marchés savent-ils évaluer correctement la gouvernance des entreprises ? Dans le cadre d'une nouvelle étude empirique, Alma Cohen, Charles C.Y. Wang et moi avons montré comment les marchés ont appris à évaluer les dispositions destinées à éviter une prise de contrôle hostile. Ce savoir a des conséquences importantes pour les entreprises cotées en Bourse et leurs investisseurs.

En 2001, trois économistes financiers (Paul Gompers, Joy Ishii et Andrew Metrick) ont identifié une stratégie d'investissement basée sur des mesures de gouvernance qui auraient rapporté des bénéfices boursiers très élevés durant les années 1990. Elle comportait l'obligation de réunir une large majorité au sein du conseil d'administration pour certaines décisions, le renouvellement de ce conseil sur plusieurs années et des mesures anti-OPA qui isolent les gestionnaires de la discipline des marchés en ce qui concerne le contrôle des entreprises.

Durant les années 1990, avoir des actions d'entreprises qui peuvent prendre toutes leurs décisions (ou la plupart d'entre elles) à la majorité simple ou adopter des positions de vente de titres d'entreprises qui ne peuvent prendre certaines décisions qu'à une majorité importante aurait permis de faire mieux que le marché. Quand elles ont été rendues publiques, ces conclusions ont intrigué les entreprises, les investisseurs et les experts en gouvernance d'entreprise et ont suscité le développement de produits financiers basés sur la gouvernance d'entreprise.

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