CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND FIRM PERFORMANCE OF LISTED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ON THE GHANA STOCK EXCHANGE

ABSTRACT
The study investigated the influence of corporate governance on firm performance using listed financial institutions on the Ghana Stock Exchange. The study also investigated the influence of board composition on firm performance. Ex-post factor research design was adopted for the study and purposive sampling was used in selecting sample for the study which comprises all financial institutions listed on Ghana Stock Exchange. The study revealed that there is a positive and significant relationship between managerial/insider ownership and firm performance. It was also discovered that there is statistically significant positive relationship between board size and firm performance. In relation to board composition (independence) and firm performance, the result was not statistically significant and negative. Finally, it was discovered that audit committee both in size and independence are important ingredient to fostering accountability and transparency which are the lubricants and catalyzing agents for firm’s performance. It was recommended that listed corporations should diversify shareholding as a way of attracting diverse skills and competencies among shareholders and more importantly, entrenchment and incentive of managers should be balanced so as not to allow them pursue self-interest to the detriment of the corporation.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
In recent times, corporate governance has gained global significance. According to Ibrahim, Rehman and Raoof (2010), literature reveals that improvement in corporate governance practices is an important ingredient in enhancing long-term economic performance of corporations. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] (2009) defines corporate governance as the set of processes, customers, policies, laws and institutions affecting the way a company is directed, administered or controlled.

Fortunato (2007) on the other hand, sees corporate governance as an economic, organizational and legal series of issues related to systems, principles, mechanisms or institutions through which firms are owned, managed and financed. In their study, Vives (2000) described corporate governance as the rules and incentives through which the management of a firm is directed and controlled with the sole aim of maximizing profitability and long-term value of the firm to the shareholders and at the same time giving due cognition to the interests of other shareholders.

Moore (2012) posits that optimum financial performance of any corporation is linked to corporate governance because it helps shareholders decipher how to assure themselves of getting a return on their investment. Helps shareholders get managers to return some of the profits to them and scrutinize the activities of managers so that they do not steal the capital provided them by shareholders or invest in bad projects. More importantly, corporate governance facilitate the ability of the shareholders to adequately monitor and control managers. Essentially, companies or corporations with corporate governance is managed and controlled in accordance with the principles of responsibility and transparency.

However, Jensen and Meckling (1976) and Myer and Majluf (1984) contended that the separation of ownership and control creates a conflict of interests between shareholders (owners) and managers as obtainable in the agency theory with negative impact on firm’s performance. Identifying contributive factors to conflicts, Khatab, Masood, Zaman, Saleem and Saeed (2011) stated that manager’s superior access to insider information and the relatively powerless position of the several and dispersed shareholders are contributive to the managers having upper hand in firms’ control.

Marashdeh (2014) also indicated that in the event of asymmetric information problems and imperfect contractual relations between managers and shareholders, managers have incentives to pursue their own objectives at the expense of shareholders. For instance, instead of increasing the value of the company, managers might implement financial and investment strategies or could spend more on luxury projects for their own interest. Marashdeh posits that conflict of interest may be as a result of transfer pricing, wherein assets of the company that could have been managed by managers are sold to another company that they own below the market value. This situation lowers firm’s performance.

However, Jensen and Meckling (1976) and Yeboah-Duah (1993) and Moore (2012) contended that situations wherein managers hold a proportion of shares in the firm (managerial ownership), the interests of shareholders and managers are tallied or aligned resulting in inability of managers to pursue selfish objectives. Moreover, agency problems decreases and firm performance increases.

Notwithstanding, the findings of Wiwattanakantung (2001) study affirmed that managerial shareholders do not always encourage a firm’s performance. Wiwattanakantung contended that there is an inverse relationship behind the assumption of the linear relationship between managerial ownership and a firm’s performance.

In view of the widespread corporate scandals and failures around the world as enumerated above, interest in the impact of corporate governance on corporate performance has increased. Though, findings of Wiwattanakantung and several studies (Shleifer & Vishny, 1997; OECD, 2009; Hermalin & Weisbach, 2003) revealed that the absence of good corporate governance is a major cause of failure of many well performing companies and ample evidence exists in literature supporting the position that good corporate governance has a positive impact on organizational performance, some researchers such as Marashdeh, contended that the composition of board of directors, ownership concentration and managerial ownership could either mar or make company’s performance. This suggests that the mode of corporate governance is an important determinants of corporate performance. As a result, the present study conducted an in-depth investigation into the impact of corporate governance in the context of managerial ownership on corporate performance in Ghana using financial institutions listed on Ghana stock exchange as the focus of study.

Statement of the Problem
In their studies Shleifer and Vishny (1997) and Limpaphayom (2001) indicated that ownership structure is an important mechanism for mitigating agency problem and improving corporate governance. A thorough analysis of various ownership structures, according to Baah (2011), revealed that managerial ownership seems to be the most controversial. Notwithstanding, several studies (Baah, 2011; Raji, 2012; Marashdeh, 2014) indicated that it is a potent tool for aligning managerial interests with those of shareholders because increase of managerial ownership provides managers ample opportunity to employ monetary incentives to maximize profit.

However, several other studies (Demsetz & Villanonga, 2001; Numazu

Kerman, 2008; Ezazi, Sadeghisharif, Alipour & Amjadi, 2011) shows that managerial ownership hampers or it is inversely proportional to corporate performance. Some studies (Jensen & Mecklings (1976; Kajola, 2008; Demsetz

Villalonga, 2001) also shows that managerial ownership as a means of corporate governance, depending on the approach, could either make or mar the financial progress of a corporation.

The gap in literature, according to Okougbo (2011), necessitates further study into the influence of corporate governance in the form of managerial ownership influence firm’s performance. As a result, this study investigated the influence of corporate governance in the form of managerial ownership on firm’s performance with some listed companies in Ghana Stock Exchange as the focus of study.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 68 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: GH50  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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