Summary: In financial markets, financial intermediaries act as agents of issuers and investors, and “gatekeepers.” This multiplicity of functions can lead to conflicts of interest. By performing its gatekeeping role well, for instance, a financial intermediary may have to forgo profitable investment banking assignments. This conference aims to promote a better understanding of the economic relevance of conflicts of interest in financial intermediaries by examining: whether the conflicts were particularly worse at the end of the 1990s; how conflicts are managed within financial institutions; how contracting, legal, and reputation mechanisms affect conflicts; and the role of regulatory authorities and regulations in overseeing conflicts. The conference organizers encourage the submission of papers relating to all aspects of agency problems and conflicts of interest in financial intermediaries. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: - The incentives within intermediaries and their effect on organizational behavior, board of director behavior, and managerial reward structures. - The effect of compensation and incentives on analysts. - The performance of analysts across different types of institutions. - The determinants of IPO allocations. - The incentives of mutual fund managers. - The relationship between investment bank conflicts of interest and IPO pricing. - The effectiveness of self-regulation of institutions, such as exchanges. - How unregulated markets address conflicts of interest as compared to regulated markets (stocks versus derivatives, mutual funds versus hedge funds). - Does bank concentration worsen conflicts of interest? - Do board memberships of financial executives exacerbate their firms’ conflicts of interest? - Does the market do an efficient job of penalizing firms that manage conflicts of interest poorly and rewarding firms that manage them well? - How do institutions manage conflicts of interest in other countries, where laws and regulations differ?

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