Does investment banker human capital matter in acquisitions? Evidence from China

Liangyong Wan, South China University of Technology
Liuyang Ren, South China University of Technology
Bingxuan Lin, University of Rhode Island
Xiaowei Xu, University of Rhode Island


Investment banker human capital is valuable in mergers and acquisitions. Exploiting a unique hand-built dataset, this paper studies whether and how investment banker's education and experience impact the merger performance in China. We find that investment bankers' education credentials are positively related to the post-merger performance; however, greater investment banker experience does not. We further explore the channels and show that the education effect is stronger in deals with higher information asymmetry and acquirers with worse corporate governance. On the other hand, experience increases merger performance in deals with high information asymmetry but reduces deal performance in poorly governed firms. Our findings suggest that higher education attainment facilitates both the advisory and monitoring role of investment bankers, while more experience makes investment bankers better advisors yet worse monitors. Our findings also suggest that investment bankers' roles in value creation are highly dependent on different institutional backgrounds, and one cannot generalize the findings in the U.S. across borders.