Why Do Firms Switch Underwriters?
Posted: 30 Oct 2000
During the mid-1990s, 30% of firms that completed a seasoned equity offering (SEO) within three years of their initial public offering (IPO) switched lead underwriter. This article provides evidence on why they switched. Contrary to predictions of prior research, there is little evidence that firms switch due to dissatisfaction with underwriter performance at the time of the IPO. A surprising result is that switchers' IPOs were significantly less underpriced than non-switchers' IPOs. However, switchers raised fewer proceeds than expected, compared to the mid-point of the filing range, while non-switchers raised significantly more proceeds. We find two main reasons for switching lead underwriter. Firms graduate to higher reputation underwriters, and they strategically buy additional and influential analyst coverage from the new lead underwriter. Survey results support these conclusions.
JEL Classification: G24, C25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation