SELECTED RECENT PUBLICATIONS & WORKING PAPERS
1 of 3 Aretz, K., Florackis, C., and Kostakis, A. (2018) Do Stock Returns Really Decrease with Default Risk? New International Evidence. Management Science, 64(8), 3469-3970.
This study constructs a novel dataset of bankruptcy filings for a large sample of non-US firms in 14 developed markets and sheds new light on the cross-sectional relation between default risk and stock returns. Using the reduced-form approach of Campbell et al. (2008) to estimate default probabilities, we offer conclusive evidence supporting the existence of a significant positive default risk premium in international markets. This finding is robust to different portfolio weighting schemes, data filters, risk-adjusting approaches and holding period definitions. Decomposing the default risk measure into its systematic and idiosyncratic components, we find that the former drives this positive relation. We also show that the default risk premium is more pronounced in countries where creditor protection is stronger and shareholder bargaining power is lower.
2 of 3 Florackis C. and S. Sainani (2018) How do chief financial officers influence corporate cash policies? Journal of Corporate Finance, 52, 168-191.
This paper examines the extent to which Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) affect corporate cash holding policies. We construct an index (CFO index) that enables us to distinguish between “strong” and “weak” CFOs based on their ability to influence firm outcomes. We find that firms with strong CFOs hold substantially less cash than firms with weak CFOs, ceteris paribus. Importantly, the CFO effect documented in our study goes beyond the effect caused by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on cash holdings. Our findings provide the first direct empirical evidence that firms with strong CFOs are well positioned to hold less cash due to their relatively weak precautionary motive and superior ability to raise external financing during periods of financial stress. Consistent with an agency explanation, our results also show that strong CFOs fulfill a monitoring role in firms with higher agency costs.
3 of 3 Florakis, C., Kanas, A., Kostakis, A., & Sainani, S. (2020). Idiosyncratic risk, risk-taking incentives and the relation between managerial ownership and firm value. European Journal of Operational Research, 283(2), 748-766
In addition to its well-documented alignment effect, managerial ownership can also have value-destroying effects by shifting risk to managers and encouraging risk-substitution; that is, managers with relatively unhedged personal portfolios tend to pass up profitable projects with high idiosyncratic (firm-specific) risk in favor of less-profitable projects that have greater aggregate (market) risk. Using parametric and semi-parametric estimation methods, we examine how managerial ownership influences firm value in light of the trade-off between the alignment and the risk-substitution effects. We find that risk-substitution offsets the alignment effect of managerial ownership in firms that are exposed to severe risk-substitution problems, leading to a weak (or non-existent) association between managerial ownership and firm value. We identify a plausible channel for these effects by showing that firms exposed to risk-substitution exhibit more “conservative” investment and financing policies. We also show that the risk-substitution problem is partially mitigated by the inclusion of stock options in managerial compensation packages. Finally, our findings suggest that semi-parametric methods may prove useful for future studies aiming at capturing nonlinear features in the data.