In the corporate governance landscape there are several different groups of so-called gatekeepers who act as intermediary between the company and investors. Financial analysts represent one of these groups that have been especially tied to the question of how corporate laws affect the overall efficiency of corporate governance. It has, for example, been proposed that their performance, that is, predicting earnings per share (EPS), is influenced by the strength of the legal system in terms of investor protection. In this study we analyze this relationship in four European countries using a newly developed index for investor protection. This allows us to conduct analysis both cross-sectionally and over time, which is an opportunity for a more refined analysis of the impact of strengthened investor protection than prior studies. Our main conclusion is that there is overall support for the proposition that there is a relation between financial analysts’ performance and the strength of legal protection based on both analyses of changes over time and between countries. Their performance is better with a higher degree of investor protection. But we also claim that the analysts’ role and investor protection can be seen as a substitution for each other when working as mechanisms in the corporate governance landscape, as there is a more extensive market for analysts when there is less investor protection. The results provide an in-depth analysis of the effect of strengthened legalization and also how different corporate governance mechanisms can affect each other. This is especially of value for policy makers and academics interested in the impact and consequences of legal reforms.
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Business Administration (50202)
- corporate governance
- financial analysts
- investor protection