Connected CEOs initiate worse mergers, but still benefit

Chief executives with extensive industry social connections are more likely to initiate mergers with unfavorable results, according to a new study from the University of Arkansas. In addition, these deals, while resulting in larger losses for the acquiring company and the post-merger company, also tend to have greater benefits for those CEOs. "[H]ighly connected executives can … use their influence to become entrenched and to pursue activities regardless of the potentially negative impact on shareholders," Tomas Jandik, associate professor of finance in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, said in a statement. "This should be an important concern for corporate boards and other market participants, especially in cases of multi-billion dollar M and A deals." The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Financial Economics. Announcement