Improving the Structure of Executives’ Equity-based Pay Arrangements

This post is from Jesse Fried of Harvard Law School.

I have just posted on SSRN a paper that put forwards a new approach to improving the structure of executives’ equity-based pay arrangements, Hands-Off Options. The current draft is available here.

The abstract is as follows:

Despite recent reforms, public company executives can still use inside information to time their stock sales, secretly boosting their pay. They can also still inflate the stock price before selling. Such insider trading and price manipulation imposes large costs on shareholders. This paper suggests that executives’ options be cashed out according to a pre-specified, gradual schedule. These hands-off options would substantially reduce the costs associated with current equity arrangements while imposing little burden on executives.

As I am continuing to work on this paper and a number of related projects, any comments would be most welcome.

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