What Drives Sell-Side Analyst Compensation at High-Status Investment Banks?

  • Groysberg B
  • Healy P
  • Maber D
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Abstract

We use proprietary data from a major investment bank to investigate factors associated with analysts annual compensation. We find compensation to be positively related to All-Star recognition, investment-banking contributions, the size of analysts portfolios, and whether an analyst is identified as a top stock picker by the Wall Street Journal. We find no evidence that compensation is related to earnings forecast accuracy. But consistent with prior studies, we find analyst turnover to be related to forecast accuracy, suggesting that analyst forecasting incentives are primarily termination based. Additional analyses indicate that All-Star recognition proxies for buy-side client votes on analyst research quality used to allocate commissions across banks and analysts. Taken as a whole, our evidence is consistent with analyst compensation being designed to reward actions that increase brokerage and investment-banking revenues. To assess the generality of our findings, we test the same relations using compensation data from a second high-status bank and obtain similar results. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Journal of Accounting Research is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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Authors

  • Boris Groysberg

  • Paul M. Healy

  • David A. Maber

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