Business Intelligence

Breaking Down The Barriers: Competition, Syndicate Structure, And Underwriting Incentives

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Executive Summary

The authors argue that the entry of commercial banks into bond underwriting led to the evolution of co-led underwriting arrangements and lowered the screening incentives of underwriters. Lead underwriters in co-led syndicates faced weaker incentives to screen issuer quality. In boom markets, issues underwritten by co-led syndicates were more likely to be involved in financial misrepresentation events. Underwriter incentives in co-led syndicates were particularly weak in industries where commercial banks stole substantial market share. Similar patterns do not hold in bust markets where investors are likely to engage in their own information collection efforts.

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