Professor Stefano Colonnello, PhD

Professor Stefano Colonnello, PhD
Current Position

since 3/20

Research Affiliate

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 11/19

Assistant Professor

Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy

since 9/15

Head of the Research Group Law and Finance

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

Research Interests

  • empirical corporate finance
  • relationship banking
  • corporate governance
  • law and finance

Stefano Colonnello joined the institute as a Research Affiliate in March 2020. His research focuses on law and finance, empirical corporate finance, corporate governance, and financial institutions.

Stefano Colonnello earned his master's degree from Bocconi University in Milan and a PhD from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne & the Swiss Finance Institute. He was a member of the Department of Financial Markets at IWH and Assistant Professor of Financial Economics at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg from 2015 to 2019.

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Professor Stefano Colonnello, PhD
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Publications

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Executive Compensation and Labor Expenses

Stefano Colonnello

in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, forthcoming

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Executive Compensation, Macroeconomic Conditions, and Cash Flow Cyclicality

Stefano Colonnello

in: Finance Research Letters, forthcoming

Abstract

I model the joint effects of debt, macroeconomic conditions, and cash flow cyclicality on risk-shifting behavior and managerial wealth-for-performance sensitivity. The model shows that risk-shifting incentives rise during recessions and that the shareholders can eliminate such adverse incentives by reducing the equity-based compensation in managerial contracts. Moreover, this reduction should be larger in highly procyclical firms. These novel, testable predictions provide insights into optimal shareholder responses to agency costs of debt throughout the business cycle.

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The Real Effects of Universal Banking: Does Access to the Public Debt Market Matter?

Stefano Colonnello

in: Journal of Financial Services Research, 2020

Abstract

I analyze the impact of the formation of universal banks on corporate investment by looking at the gradual dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act’s separation between commercial and investment banking. Using a sample of US firms and their relationship banks, I show that firms curtail debt issuance and investment after positive shocks to the underwriting capacity of their main bank. This result is driven by unrated firms and is strongest immediately after a shock. These findings suggest that universal banks may pay more attention to large firms providing more underwriting opportunities while exacerbating financial constraints of opaque firms, in line with a shift to a banking model based on transactional lending.

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Working Papers

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Dynamic Equity Slope

Matthijs Breugem Stefano Colonnello Roberto Marfè Francesca Zucchi

in: Working Papers University of Venice "Ca' Foscari", No. 21, 2020

Abstract

The term structure of equity and its cyclicality are key to understand the risks drivingequilibrium asset prices. We propose a general equilibrium model that jointly  explainsfour important features of the term structure of equity: (i) a negative unconditionalterm premium, (ii) countercyclical term premia, (iii) procyclical equity yields, and (iv)premia to value and growth claims respectively increasing and decreasing with thehorizon. The economic mechanism hinges on the interaction between heteroskedasticlong-run growth — which helps price long-term cash flows and leads to countercyclicalrisk premia — and homoskedastic short-term shocks in the presence of limited marketparticipation — which produce sizeable risk premia to short-term cash flows. The slopedynamics hold irrespective of the sign of its unconditional average. We provide empir-ical support to our model assumptions and predictions.

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Benign Neglect of Covenant Violations: Blissful Banking or Ignorant Monitoring?

Stefano Colonnello Michael Koetter Moritz Stieglitz

in: IWH Discussion Papers, forthcoming

Abstract

Theoretically, bank‘s loan monitoring activity hinges critically on its capitalisation. To proxy for monitoring intensity, we use changes in borrowers‘ investment following loan covenant violations, when creditors can intervene in the governance of the firm. Exploiting granular bank-firm relationships observed in the syndicated loan market, we document substantial heterogeneity in monitoring across banks and through time. Better capitalised banks are more lenient monitors that intervene less with covenant violators. Importantly, this hands-off approach is associated with improved borrowers‘ performance. Beyond enhancing financial resilience, regulation that requires banks to hold more capital may thus also mitigate the tightening of credit terms when firms experience shocks.

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Effectiveness and (In)Efficiencies of Compensation Regulation: Evidence from the EU Banker Bonus Cap

Stefano Colonnello Michael Koetter Konstantin Wagner

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 7, 2018

Abstract

We study if the regulation of bank executive compensation has unintended consequences. Based on novel data on CEO and non-CEO executives in EU banking, we show that capping the variable-to-fixed compensation ratio did not induce executives to abandon the industry. Banks indemnified executives sufficiently for the shock to retain them by raising fixed and lowering variable compensation while complying with the cap. At the same time, banks‘ risk-adjusted performance deteriorated due to increased idiosyncratic risk. Collateral damage for the financial system as a whole appears modest though, as average co-movement of banks with the market declined under the cap.

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