Leadership Investigate

Deductio Ad Absurdum: Ceos Donating Their Own Stock To Their Own Family Foundations

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Executive Summary

The author studies large charitable stock gifts by Chairmen and CEOs of public companies. These gifts, which are not subject to insider trading law, often, occur just before sharp declines in their companies' share prices. This timing is more pronounced when executives donate their own shares to their own family foundations. Evidence related to reporting delays and seasonal patterns suggests that some CEOs backdate stock gifts to increase personal income tax benefits. CEOs' family foundations hold donated stock for long periods rather than diversifying, permitting CEOs to continue voting the shares.

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