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  • 1.
    Brunzell, Tor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    High-frequency Trading–to Regulate or Not to Regulate-That is the Question?: Does Scientific Data Offer an Answer?2013In: Journal of Business and Financial Affairs, ISSN 2167-0234, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 1-4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    High-frequency trading (HFT) certainly captures public (and regulatory) attention. On May 6th 2010, the Dow Jones (DJ) experienced its largest intraday point drop in history, shedding $1 trillion of its market value in half an hour. Largely as a consequence of the event– named Flash Crash–regulatory authorities sharpened the regulations concerning HFT: in the U.S., circuit breakers were introduced [1], and the European Union made regulative changes that require equity orders to delay for at least half a second. Also, in the markets, there has been a demand for introducing a financial transactions tax (FTT) in order to discourage high frequency trading.

    So, what is high-frequency trading? And why should it be regulated? And if it is regulated, how should that regulation be designed? In this editorial article, I will focus on existing scientific evidence on how HFT affects the market, and on the big questions about HFT that remain unanswered.

  • 2.
    Brunzell, Tor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    What Aspects of a Board’s Work are Really Important?2012In: Journal of Business and Financial Affairs, ISSN 2167-0234, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 1-3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this editorial article, I will discuss what chairmen and CEOs perceive to be the most and least important aspects of their board’s work for a high-quality outcome. I focus on the chairman and CEO because they are the two most important persons affected by their board’s work, but they have different roles and perspectives. The chairman leads the board, while the CEO leads the company’s daily operations.

    How should we attempt to answer the following question: which aspects of the board’s work are more important and which are less important? The most direct method is to ask chairmen and CEOs. Therefore, I will base my discussion on data from a questionnaire sent to Nordic listed companies that asked chairmen and CEOs how they perceive different aspects of the work on the board they serve. The respondents responded on a 1-5 Likert-scale. An optimal model is estimated for each working aspect, starting with an overall satisfaction question.

  • 3.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    Hansson, Mats
    Liljeblom, Eva
    The use of derivatives in Nordic firms2011In: European Journal of Finance, ISSN 1351-847X, E-ISSN 1466-4364, Vol. 17, no 5-6, p. 355-376Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We contribute to the previous literature on the use of derivatives by studying separately the determinants of profit seeking versus those of hedging. In our sample of listed firms from four Nordic countries, about 62% use derivatives. Although the hedging motive clearly dominates, over half of the firms give some weight for additional income as a motive for the use of derivatives. Combining survey data on the use of derivatives with financial variables, data on management and blockholder ownership, and data on firm-level diversification, we find that very different determinants drive the use of derivatives for these two motives. Firm-level diversification is negatively related to hedging, but is positively related to the use of derivatives for additional income. Financial firms use derivatives more for profit than for hedging. We also find weak support for a value-increasing effect of the use of derivatives.

  • 4.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Finance.
    Holm, Sören
    Jonsson, Bengt
    A Model of Optimal Dividend Policy to Maximize Shareholder Wealth: When Taxes are Considered2013In: Journal of Business and Economics, ISSN 2155-7950, Vol. 5, no 7, p. 1068-1078Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article analyzes theoretically how a firm maximizes the value of shareholder’s wealth with its dividend policy. Corporate dividend policy is one of the major puzzles with modern finance. The overall question is whether company should pay out dividend at all. However, the large majority of listed companies pay dividend and they also carry sophisticated dividend policies. In this paper we outline when it is optimal for a company to pay out dividend and when it should reinvest the profit from operations. The model takes taxes in to consideration estimating the value of a company, i.e., the present value after deduction for taxes, is used as objective function.Four different taxes are considered. The analysis shows the terms on which it is profitable to receive dividend payout or to reinvest at an arbitrary time. Under the assumption of a unique maximum net present value, the terms at the time for the maximum net present value are also presented.

  • 5.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Hanken, Finland.
    Chairman’s Perception of Board Work Upon Female Board Representation:: A Study on Nordic Listed Companies2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we consider the consequences of female board representation on board work in listed firms in the five Nordic countries. Using survey data provided by company chairmen, we contribute to the literature on gender diversity in boards by providing an insider perspective. Survey data reveals that chairmen, the operative syllable being "men," are significantly less satisfied with female board members when asked to rate various groups of board members. Controlling for a number of factors, gender diversity is not perceived to provide a positive contribution to board work. However, concluding that homogeneous groups would work better when risk is high is not warranted, as data reveals evidence that gender diversity produces positive results in high-risk firms. Furthermore, the results indicate that when a company has a nomination committee, the likelihood that the company will have a gender diverse board increases dramatically.

  • 6.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Chairmen's perceptions of female board representation: a study on Nordic listed companies2014In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ISSN 2040-7149, E-ISSN 2040-7157, Vol. 33, no 6, p. 523-534Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to survey chairmen's perceptions of female board representation in five Nordic countries, focussing on whether the chairman's perception of board work is related to gender diversity, and on differences between high- and low-risk firms. Design/methodology/approach – The authors combine data from a questionnaire directed to the chairmen of the boards in Nordic listed companies with data on firm characteristics and board composition. Findings – The authors find that the chairmen (97.5 percent male) are significantly less satisfied with female board members as compared to male ones. The authors also find that firms with nomination committees have more gender diverse boards, as well as indications of a more positively perceived contribution of female representation in high-risk firms. Research limitations/implications – The study is restricted to perceptions of chairmen for listed Nordic firms. The low response rate of 20.1 percent is a severe limitation. Practical implications – The increasing practice of using nomination committees in the Nordic countries seems advantageous from gender balance perspective. Originality/value – The authors contribute to the literature on gender diversity in boards by providing results from a board intern perspective.

  • 7.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Hanken School of Economics, Finland.
    Löflund, Anders
    Hanken School of Economics, Finland.
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Capital Structure Policy Decisions in Nordic Listed Firms2013In: Proceeedings, Eurofidai , 2013, p. 1-27Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we report the results from a survey among all publicly listed Nordic firms on their policy decisions concerning their capital structure. We find that more than 60 percent of the companies have rather or relatively flexible debt target, whereas a strict target or no target at all is approximately equally common. We also study the determinants for the strictness of the debt target, and find support for both firm characteristics as well as behavioral variables. We also study the link between capital structure policy and dividend policy, and find that dividend paying firms - firms with a definite dividend policy are more likely to have a stricter debt target. These results indicate that more research should be done on the joint setting of capital structure and dividend policies.

  • 8.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Hanken School of Economics, Department of Finance and Statistics.
    Löflund, Anders
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    Dividend Policy in Nordic Listed Firms2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we analyze the results from a survey among all publicly listed Nordic firms on their dividend payout policy. A number of interesting results are found. The results show e.g. that 72 percent of the Nordic companies have a specified dividend policy. Larger and more profitable companies are more likely to have a defined dividend policy in place. The dividend policy is mostly influenced by the considerations of company’s capital structure and future earnings. We get indirect support for agency / monitoring motives, or the need for a stable cash flow, rather than for the signaling motive, since the likelihood for a firm having an explicit dividend policy is positively related to ownership concentration as well as to large long-term, private or industrial owners.

  • 9.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Löflund, Anders
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    Dividend policy in Nordic listed firms2014In: Global Finance Journal, ISSN 1044-0283, E-ISSN 1873-5665, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 124-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we analyze the results from a survey among all publicly listed Nordic firms on their dividend payout policy. The results show that 72% of the Nordic companies have a specified dividend policy. Larger and more profitable companies are more likely to have a defined dividend policy in place. The dividend policy is mostly influenced by capital structure considerations and the outlook of future earnings. We also find that the likelihood for a firm having an explicit dividend policy is positively related to ownership concentration as well as to the presence of large long-term private or industrial owners. Our results support the use of defined dividend policies for agency or monitoring reasons rather than signaling reasons.

  • 10.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Söderman, Sten
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Board Size and its Consequences on Board Composition and Work: A Study of Top Nordic Football Clubs2012In: Proceedings of the European Academy of Management 12th Annual Meeting, Rotterdam: Rotterdam School of Management, ERASMUS University, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    Determinants of capital budgeting methods and hurdle rates in Nordic firms2013In: Accounting and Finance, ISSN 0810-5391, E-ISSN 1467-629X, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 85-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We study the determinants for the choice of capital budgeting methods and the setting of hurdle rates (WACCs) in five Nordic countries. Combining survey data with a rich set of determinants, including ownership data, CFO characteristics, and financial data, we find that the use of the Net Present Value method and the sophistication of the capital budgeting are related to firm characteristics, variables proxying for real option features in investments and CFO characteristics (age and education). We also find support for significantly higher hurdle rates than motivated by economic theory. The premium is weakly positively related to managerial short-term pressure and strongly negatively related to the sophistication level of the firm’s capital budgeting.

  • 12.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    Short-Term Expectations in Listed Firms: The Effects Of Different Owner Types2015In: Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, ISSN 0954-1314, E-ISSN 1467-646X, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 223-256Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report empirical evidence in line with the disciplining role of different institutional and other owner types in reducing managerial myopia. Using data from a large Nordic survey, we find that companies, to a reasonably high degree, feel that external pressure for a good result in the short-term generates conflict with the company's long-term goals. We test for the effect of different ownership types and find that especially in firms with a large and non-transitory activist or fund as an owner, the perceived pressure for short-term actions is reduced. In addition, we observe a negative association between firm profitability and short-term pressure, and we find that younger managers feel significantly more pressure. Firms subject to greater pressure engage in more actions to accommodate that pressure. Again, the impact of a large activist owner is especially beneficial because such firms significantly less often undertake actions that have the potential to destroy value, such as deprioritizing their long-term investments or R&D.

  • 13.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Finance.
    Liljeblom, Eva
    Hanken, Finland.
    Vaihekoski, Mika
    Turku School of Economics, Finland.
    Short-term Expectations in Listed Firms:: The Effects of Different Owner Types2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report empirical evidence regarding the disciplining role of differentinstitutional and other owners in reducing managerial myopia. Using data from alarge Nordic survey, we find that companies to a reasonably high degree feelthat external pressure for a good result in the short-term generates conflictwith the company’s long-term goals. We test for the effect of several ownershiptypes, and find that especially in firms with a large private equity owner theperceived pressure for short-term actions is reduced. In addition, we find anegative association between firm profitability and short-term pressure. Wealso find support for a behavioral characteristic: younger managers feelsignificantly more pressure. Firms subject to higher pressure undertake moreactions to accommodate that pressure. Again, the impact of especially a largeprivate equity owner is beneficial because such firms undertake significantlyless often actions that are likely to destroy value, such as deprioritizingtheir long-term investments or R&D.

  • 14.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Peltomäki, Jarkko
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Ownership as a Determinant of Chairperson Activity: a Study of Nordic Listed Companies2015In: Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, ISSN 1755-4179, E-ISSN 1755-4187, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 412-428Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Söderman, Sten
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Board evaluation in the top Nordic football clubs2012In: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, ISSN 2042-678X, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 210-224Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to study if and how the evaluation of the boards in the top Nordic male football clubs affects the boards’ composition and work.

    Design/methodology/approach: The study includes all the clubs in the two top divisions in each of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). The study makes use of a questionnaire where 66 (out of 145) chairmen answer 17 questions concerning the board composition and work on a five-point Likert-scale.

    Findings: The responses were related to whether the board is annually evaluated or not. Descriptive statistics demonstrates that more than half of the clubs have an annual board evaluation. Most common is that the Chairman performs the evaluation himself/herself with help from designated board members; the evaluation being performed through informal discussions. A total of 44 clubs have a nominee committee. Almost all of the clubs transfer the result of the board evaluation to its nominee committee, most commonly verbally. Furthermore, results show that board evaluation has a significant positive effect on the following functions of football boards: review of business plan, strategy, objective and budget; discussion on short-term development; discussion on long-term development; and work efficiency.

    Originality/value: The results of this study are consistent with a similar study of listed Nordic companies. The main difference between the results of the two studies is that clubs, unlike publicly listed companies, almost always perform the evaluation through internal interviews rarely using external consultants and individual anonymous questionnaires.

  • 16.
    Brunzell, Tor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Söderman, Sten
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Board Evaluation in the Top Nordic Football Clubs - the chairman's view2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Weinberg-Krakowski, Susanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Brunzell, Tor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    The Effect of Quarterly Reporting on Companies Financial Performance: A Survey Study on Five Nordic Stock Markets2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Early version. May not be quoted.

    Extended Abstract: In this paper, we study what effect the quarterly reporting has on the reporting company’s financial performance. This question is of current interest in the light of the European Commission 2013 amending its Transparency Directive, where the Commission abolishes the requirement for quarterly reports by publicly traded companies. The survey was performed on the five Nordic stock markets where 157 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of listed companies out of 711 responded (response rate of 22 percent). This study is based on the results of the questionnaire sent out to the CFOs of all companies listed on the OMX Nordic Stock Exchange in December 2007. In May 2008, a questionnaire was also sent out to the CFOs of companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The OMX Nasdaq questionnaire was sent as a letter addressed to a named CFO, where the CFO received a cover letter from the CEO Jukka Ruuska of OMX.

    The questionnaire included six pages of questions for the CFOs. In terms of quarterly reporting, the respondents were asked to respond to six questions. Three were yes or no questions and three were specific questions concerning quarterly reporting where the CFOs were asked to give her/his perception of the use of the quarterly reporting on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

    Respondents were asked to indicate (yes or no) whether the company’s performance was affected by the quarterly reporting. The results show that 83 percent of the Icelandic CFOs answered that the quarterly reports affect company performance, while the corresponding figure was 79 percent for Norway, 67 percent for Finland, 44 percent for Sweden, and 41 percent for Danish companies. The main perceived effect the quarterly reporting has on company’s performance is that it creates short-term pressure (3.77 out of 5). The main positive opinion of the quarterly reports is that they give the company a tool to communication with the capital market (4.2 out of 5), but also that the reports make the company focus on cash flow (3.0 out of 5). The CFOs indicate that the quarterly reports require too much effort compared to benefits realized (2.95 out of 5). Furthermore, the responding CFOs indicate that quarterly reporting makes the company consider timeliness of acquisitions, divestments, and investments (2.91 out of 5), obscures the company’s operational goals (2.73), and makes the company emphasize incoming orders (2.64).

    The results indicate that more than half of the companies have their quarterly and semi-annual reports audited by their external auditors. Almost 60 percent of these companies also say that the reports affect the way the company performs.

    We performed a t-test to reveal if there is a difference between the companies where the CFO believes that quarterly reporting affects the company’s performance and the CFOs that do not believe that quarterly reporting affects the company’s performance. Here we find a significant difference between CFOs that believe that quarterly reporting affects company performance in that these companies have higher volatility, lower current ratio and that the CFOs perceive higher general short-term pressure.

    Further, we performed multiple regressions to test whether perceiving an effect from quarterly reporting also has an effect on a CFO’s ability to accurately forecast future sales. The companies’ performance is measured as forecast accuracy (i.e. the difference between forecasted turnover growth for five years and the actual growth). Here we found that quarterly reporting has a significant negative effect on forecast accuracy.

    Our study contributes to the current literature in several ways. First, we have a wide set of explanatory variables to explain cross sectional differences, including data from all Nordic countries, which enables us to determine if differences are driven by company heterogeneity. Second, the responses were matched with background information regarding firm- and CFO specific data, financials, ownership type etc. This allows us to examine whether the assumptions behind the theories are valid.

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