wealth effect, investment bank, corporate governance, fairness opinions


The dissertation studies the value of both investment banks' services on the whole and fairness opinions specifically, which the banks provide to the acquiring firms. In the first chapter, I examine how investment banks and acquiring firms' governance quality interact to affect shareholders' wealth in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Although the wealth impact of investment banks in mergers and acquisitions is widely studied in the literature, existing studies do not consider the interaction between governance quality and investment banks. I examine how investment banks and governance quality of acquiring firms interact to affect the wealth of acquiring firms' shareholders. I find that acquiring firms with poor governance are more likely to use investment banks in the deal. This association holds even after controlling for deal feature and other characteristics. I find that the use of investment banks per se does not result in a wealth reduction for the acquiring firms' shareholders. However, when the acquiring firm has poor governance, the use of investment bank is associated with extra value loss for the shareholders. The finding suggests that investment banks may help managerial empire building at the expense of shareholders under some circumstances. The study indicates that when studying investment bank's impact it is important to consider the quality of the hiring firms' governance. In the second chapter, I investigate the wealth implications of fairness opinions that the board of an acquiring firm purchases in corporate mergers from investment banks. Using the propensity score matching method to address the self-selection issue, I find that firms undertaking opinioned mergers under-perform firms with non-opinioned matching mergers in short windows around the announcement date. In the long run, the firms with opinioned merger do not perform better than firms with non-opinioned mergers. The acquiring firms perform poorly relative to their performance before the mergers, irrespective of whether their mergers are opinioned. Over a 12-month window after the mergers, the acquiring firms involved in both opinioned and non-opinioned mergers under-perform matching firms that do not make mergers. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the board buys a fairness opinion for its self-protection instead of maximization of shareholder wealth. The implication of this finding is that when investors evaluate mergers, they should focus primarily on deal characteristics, not fairness opinion.


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Graduation Date





Whyte, Ann Marie


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration



Degree Program

Business Administration








Release Date

April 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)