Hello! I’m a PhD candidate in Finance at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. I conduct research in corporate finance. I study how shareholders influence executive compensation policy through shareholder voting. I’m also interested in corporate investment (including the determination of discount rates, capital budgeting and project horizons) and corporate flexibility.
I am on the 2023/2024 academic job market.
I have a BA in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Sociology (PPES) from Trinity College Dublin, and a Master’s from the Barcelona School of Economics.
Job market paper
Shareholder Voice and Executive Compensation
Abstract. Managerial influence on the Board of Directors induces an agency problem in the design of executive compensation. I evaluate the role of shareholder voice in disciplining compensation practices by estimating a model of CEO compensation with non-binding shareholder approval votes (Say-on-Pay). The Board sets CEO pay and is biased towards a high wage; shareholders can fail the Say-on-Pay (SOP) and punish the Board for overpayment. Failed votes are perceived as costly by both the Board and shareholders: a cost of 2.06% (0.76%) of value for the Board (shareholders) is sufficient to match the data. SOP thus resembles a costly punishment mechanism and the disciplining effect on compensation increases firm value by 4.6% on average. Empirical evidence suggests the Board cost is a career and reputation concern for directors, and shareholders internalize a cost to dissenting from the Board on a prominent policy. I construct a counterfactual SOP mechanism which emulates giving a focal shareholder an advisory seat on the Board; this lowers the SOP failure rate, decreases wages and further increases firm value.
Presentations. (* = scheduled) LBS Transatlantic Doctoral Conference, Duke Industrial Organization Seminar, WashU Olin Finance Conference PhD Poster Session, Boca Corporate Finance and Governance Conference*, MFA 2024*