The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

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When It Pays to Pay Your Investment Banker: New Evidence on the Role of Financial Advisors in M&As

Published: 01/17/2012   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2011.01712.x


We provide new evidence on the role of financial advisors in M&As. Contrary to prior studies, top‐tier advisors deliver higher bidder returns than their non‐top‐tier counterparts but in public acquisitions only, where the advisor reputational exposure and required skills set are relatively larger. This translates into a $65.83 million shareholder gain for an average bidder. The improvement comes from top‐tier advisors' ability to identify more synergistic combinations and to get a larger share of synergies to accrue to bidders. Consistent with the premium price–premium quality equilibrium, top‐tier advisors charge premium fees in these transactions.