Financial Management and the Agency Theory

Shareholder Wealth Maximization as an organizational goal for private firms

Essay, 2013

10 Pages, Grade: A15 bzw. 1,0

Abstract or Introduction

In Financial Management it´s generally assumed that the goal of a private firm is shareholder
wealth maximization respectively maximizing shareholder value (ACCA BPP, 2012, p. 5).
This assumption correspond with a recent statement of Philip Clarke (2013) - Chief Executive
Officer of Tesco who declared that ‘[e]verything [they] are doing reflects [their]
determination to deliver shareholder value’. The question arises if shareholder wealth
maximization is an appropriate goal since there are other individuals besides the shareholders
that are affected by the activities of a firm. Another point is that managers often do not act in
shareholders best interest in order to maximize their own utility. This conflict of interest is
described by the agency theory. Furthermore the agency relationship complicates the
achievement of the goal of shareholder wealth maximization (Van Horne and Wachowicz,
2009, p.5).
Recently shareholders of the former Yellow Pages publisher Hibu blame the management not
to act in their best interest because of both a lack of information provided by directors and by
restructuring the company with a debt-for-equity swap that wipes shareholders out. As a
consequence of Hibu’s oppressive debt mountain the debt-for-equity swap enables major
lenders to take control over the company (Spanier, 2013). In this context the concept of cost
of capital and its calculation provides an approach to the costs of financing decision.
(McLaney, 2011,p.296). Since the debt-for-equity swap restructures Hibu´s balance sheet it is
of crucial importance to examine the sources of capital that are discussed in this context in
order to evaluate the reasonableness of the debt-for-equity swap from a economical
Section 1 of this assignment focuses on the characteristics of shareholders’ wealth
maximization as an organizational goal of management and discusses its link with the Agency
Theory. Section 2 gives an insight into the concept and the calculation of cost of capital. The
3rd section critically evaluates the different sources of capital discussed in the previous
section. The last section summarizes the main points of the assignment and provides a


Financial Management and the Agency Theory
Shareholder Wealth Maximization as an organizational goal for private firms
University of New South Wales, Sydney
A15 bzw. 1,0
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
516 KB
financial, management, agency, theory, shareholder, wealth, maximization
Quote paper
Simon Bergstein (Author), 2013, Financial Management and the Agency Theory, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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