This article reports the results of empirical research on the monitoring role of directors' and officers' liability insurance (D&O insurance) companies in American corporate governance. Economic theory provides three reasons to expect D&O insurers to serve as corporate governance monitors: first, monitoring provides insurers with a way to manage moral hazard; second, monitoring provides benefits to shareholders who might not otherwise need the risk distribution that D&O insurance provides; and third, the “bonding” provided by risk distribution gives insurers a comparative advantage in monitoring. Nevertheless, we find that D&O insurers neither monitor corporate governance during the life of the insurance contract nor manage litigation defense costs once claims arise. Our findings raise significant questions about the value of D&O insurance for shareholders as well as the deterrent effect of corporate and securities liability. After exploring various explanations for these findings, we conclude that the absence of monitoring is due, at least in part, to the agency problem in the corporate context. Our analysis thus suggests that the existing form of corporate D&O insurance both results from and contributes to the relatively weak constraints on corporate managers. Corporate managers buy D&O coverage for self-serving reasons, and the coverage itself, because it does not control moral hazard, reduces the extent to which shareholder litigation aligns managers' and shareholders' incentives.
lundi, septembre 03, 2007
L'assureur des administrateurs: une nouvelle sentinelle de la gouvernance?
Depuis quelque temps, je m'intéresse beaucoup au rôle de la responsabilité civile comme mécanisme de gouvernance. Dans ce débat qui oscille entre le thèse de la trivialité et celle de la pertinence, la question de l'impact de l'assurance-responsabilité des administrateurs revient fréquemment sur le tapis. Dans un document de travail récent, The Missing Monitor in Corporate Governance: The Directors' and Officers Liability Insurer, Baker et Griffith font valoir que les assureurs ne jouent pas un rôle de sentinelle en matière de gouvernance. Voici le résumé:
Publié par Stéphane Rousseau à 21:05