The determinants of corporate risk management
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University of Cape Town
Traditional financial theory which is based on the Modigliani-Miller indifference paradigm, suggests that a firm's financial policies, of which risk management is one component, are irrelevant. However, this conclusion is seemingly contradicted by the observation of widespread use of derivatives by companies, particularly for hedging purposes. This apparent conflict is receiving attention from international financial researchers. A number of hypothesis have been proposed to explain corporate risk management. To evaluate the strength of these theories, this paper begins with a formalised process of identifying the assumptions underlying the hypotheses. The theories are classified according to which assumptions are relaxed. A limited number of international empirical studies have been performed to date. The results have been varied; four of the important studies are discussed. For the first time, an empirical investigation into the determinants of corporate risk management in South Africa is conducted. The most significant findings are that larger firms are more inclined to undertake risk management, and the likelihood of a firm hedging increases with the size of the director's ownership in the company.
Bibliography: leaves 123-128.
Dunley-Owen, T. 1997. The determinants of corporate risk management. University of Cape Town.