This study examines three issues related to the sensitivity of bank CEO compensation to risk, or vega: (1) its relevance compared with CEO compensation vega in industrial firms; (2) its determinants; and (3) its effect on bank risk-taking. Using a sample of 156 US bank holding companies (BHCs) and a benchmark sample of 544 industrial firms over the period 1993-2006, we find that the vega of CEO compensation in banking is of a much smaller magnitude than the vega of CEO compensation in industrial firms, despite an effort by BHCs to increase it since the mid-1990s. We also find that larger BHCs with better investment opportunities and those that operate in a deregulated environment reward their CEOs with a compensation that has a higher sensitivity to risk. Finally, our analyses show that BHCs in which CEOs receive a higher compensation vega assume a higher risk.
- Executive compensation
- Stock options
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)