Ayako Yasuda

Visiting Associate Professor
of Finance

Associate Professor of Finance
(on leave in 2016)

客員准教授 –

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Publications and Articles

Working Paper

Impact Investing


Winner of 2016 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing

ABSTRACT: We study investments in impact funds, defined as venture or growth private equity funds with stated intent to generate both financial returns and positive externalities. In an investor’s fund choice model, we find a 14.1% higher investment rate for impact funds compared to the benchmark investment rate of traditional venture funds, implying that impact funds face above-market demand. We validate results showing three times as much above-market demand for impact in Europe and for UNPRI signatories. We then test for demand taste, finding that impact is particularly demanded in funds with environmental, poverty alleviation, social concern, or minority and women objectives – those with high public good content. Finally, we find evidence that the sources of demand are household beneficiaries (rather than organizations), mission investors, and those facing political/regulatory pressure to invest in impact. Legal restrictions against non-financial investment (e.g., ERISA and UPMIFA) hinder demand for impact.

Published 2013
Journal of Financial Economics
110, 185–214

Supply Uncertainty of the Bond Investor Base and the Leverage of the Firm


ABSTRACT: We examine the effect of the bond capital supply uncertainty of institutional investors (e.g., mutual bond funds and insurance companies) on the leverage of the firm using a novel dataset. Our main finding is that the supply uncertainty of the firm’s bond investor base — measured as (i) the average portfolio turnover or (ii) the average flow volatility of investors holding the firm’s bonds, or (iii) the prevalence of mutual funds among the firm’s bondholders as opposed to insurance companies — has a negative and significant effect on the leverage of the firm. The supply uncertainty of the firm’s bond investor base also has a negative and significant effect on the firm’s probability of issuing bonds, and a positive and significant effect on the firm’s probability of issuing equity and borrowing from banks. We take a multi-pronged approach to address potential endogeneity issues, including use of geography-based instruments and firm fixed effects, subsample analyses, and a placebo test. Our results highlight the fragility of access to the bond market for companies that depend on mutual funds with high turnover / flow volatility as primary bond investors.

Are Stars' Opinions Worth More? The Relation Between Analyst Reputation and Recommendation Values


ABSTRACT: Using 1994–2009 data, we find that All-American (AA) analysts’ buy and sell portfolio alphas significantly exceed those of non-AAs by up to 0.6% per month after risk-adjustments for investors with advance access to analyst recommendations. For investors without such access, top-rank AAs still earn significantly higher (by 0.3%) monthly alphas in buy recommendations than others. AAs’ superior performance exists before (as well as after) they are elected, is not explained by market overreactions to stars, and is not significantly eroded after Reg-FD. Election to top-AA ranks predicts future performance in buy recommendations above and beyond other previously observable analyst characteristics. Institutional investors actively evaluate analysts and update the AA roster accordingly. Collectively, these results suggest that skill differences among analysts exist and AA election reflects institutional investors’ ability to evaluate and benefit from elected analysts’ superior skills. Other investors’ opportunity to profit from the stars’ opinions exists, but is limited due to their timing disadvantage.

The Wall Street Journal

Star Stock Analysts’ Tips Are Worth a Lot

Study Finds a Real Advantage, but Investors Have to Act Right Away... Cited in the Wall Street Journal, Jan 2015.


Reputation Matters

If an investment bank has lucrative underwriting relationships, will its analysts necessarily produce lower quality research to the detriment of investors, because of their compromised objectivity? It is a question that academics have debated for over a decade, but one that seemed to take regulators by surprise after the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2001, and the subsequent wave of corporate accounting scandals... Published in the Financial Times, April 2006.


Published 2011
European Financial Management
17, 619-654 (lead article)

Venture Capital and Other Private Equity: A Survey


ABSTRACT: We review the theory and evidence on venture capital (VC) and other private equity: why professional private equity exists, what private equity managers do with their portfolio companies, what returns they earn, who earns more and why, what determines the design of contracts signed between (i) private equity managers and their portfolio companies and (ii) private equity managers and their investors (limited partners), and how/whether these contractual designs affect outcomes. Findings highlight the importance of private ownership, and information asymmetry and illiquidity associated with it, as a key explanatory factor of what makes private equity different from other asset classes.

A Model of Private Equity Compensation


ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the economics of the private equity fund compensation. We build a novel model to estimate the expected revenue to fund managers as a function of their investor contracts. In particular, we evaluate the present value of the fair-value test (FVT) carried interest scheme, which is one of the most common profit-sharing arrangements observed in practice. We extend the simulation model developed in Metrick and Yasuda (2010a) and compare the relative values of the FVT carry scheme to other benchmark carry schemes. We find that the FVT carry scheme is substantially more valuable to the fund managers than other commonly observed (and more conservative) carry schemes, largely due to the early timing of carry compensation that frequently occurs under the FVT scheme. Interestingly, conditional on having an FVT carry scheme, fund managers’ incremental gains from inflating the reported values of the funds’ un-exited portfolio companies would be negligible.

Bank Relationships and Underwriter Competition: Evidence from Japan


ABSTRACT: This paper examines the effects of bank relationships on underwriter choice in the Japanese corporate-bond market following the 1993 deregulation. Bank relationships have significant positive effects on a firm's underwriter choice. Relationship firms receive a small but significant fee discount and, consistent with mitigating effect of bank competition on holdup cost, multiple-relationship firms receive a significantly deeper discount than solo-relationship firms. Bank shareholding alone negatively affects underwriter choice, whereas shareholding together with loans have significantly more positive effects than loans alone. Finally, existing relationships reduce a Japanese firm's switching probability by 32%, in contrast to only 6% for U.S. firms.

Forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics

Interim Fund Performance and Fundraising in Private Equity


ABSTRACT: General partners (GPs) in private equity (PE) report the performance of an existing fund while raising capital for a follow-on fund. Interim performance has large effects on fundraising outcomes; the impact is greatest when backed by exits and for low reputation GPs. Faced with these incentives, GPs time their fundraising to coincide with periods of peak performance through two strategies: “exit and fundraise” and “NAV management.” Consistent with the former, performance peaks are greatest for funds with high realization rates. Consistent with the latter, low reputation GPs with low realization rates also experience performance peaks and erosions in performance post fundraising.

Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation, 2nd Edition


ABSTRACT: The Financial Principles Every Venture Capitalist Needs To Master! In Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation, future and current venture capitalists will find a useful guide to the principles of finance and the financial models that underlie venture capital decisions. Assuming no knowledge beyond concepts covered in first-year MBA course, the text serves as an innovative model for the valuation of start ups, and will familiarise you with the relationship between risk and return in venture capital, historical statistics on the performance of venture capital investments, total and partial valuation—and more.

Available online at:

Journal of Financial Economics
104, 491-518

The Role of Institutional Investors in Propagating the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008


ABSTRACT: Using novel data on investors’ bond portfolios, we study the contagion of the crisis from securitized bonds to corporate bonds. When securitized bonds became “toxic” in August 2007, mutual funds retained the now illiquid securitized bonds and sold corporate bonds. Funds with negative flows or high liquidity needs liquidated more than others. Yield spreads increased more for corporate bonds whose pre-crisis bondholders were more heavily exposed to securitized bonds, compared to same-issuer bonds held by unexposed investors. The findings suggest that liquidity-constrained investors with exposure to securitized bonds played a role in propagating the crisis from securitized to corporate bonds.

"Intoxicated Investors" Slammed Corporate Bonds

A key culprit behind the precipitous price declines in credit markets during the financial crisis: mutual funds with short investing horizons... Published in CFO Magazine Online, July 2010.


The Effectiveness of Reputation as a Disciplinary Mechanism in Sell-side Research


ABSTRACT: Using 1983-2002 U.S. data, we examine whether the quality differentials in earnings forecasts between reputable and non-reputable analysts vary as the severity of conflicts of interest varies. We measure personal reputation using the Institutional Investor All-American (AA) awards, and bank reputation using Carter-Manaster ranks. While both personal reputation and bank reputation are associated with higher-quality forecasts overall, their effectiveness against conflicts of interest differs. The severity of conflicts (proxied by the aggregate volume of new equity issues) has a negative and significant effect on the performance of non-AAs at top-tier banks relative to both AAs at top-tier banks and non-AAs at lower-tier banks. In contrast, the severity of conflicts has a positive and significant effect on the performance of AAs at top-tier banks relative to both non-AAs at top-tier banks and AAs at lower-tier banks. These findings suggest that personal reputation is an effective disciplinary device against conflicts of interest, while bank reputation alone is not.

The Economics of Private Equity Funds


ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the economics of the private equity industry using a novel model and dataset.  We obtain data from a large investor in private equity funds, with detailed records on 238 funds raised between 1993 and 2006. We build a model to estimate the expected revenue to managers as a function of their investor contracts, and we test how this estimated revenue varies across the characteristics of our sample funds. Among our sample funds, about two-thirds of expected revenue comes from fixed-revenue components that are not sensitive to performance. We find sharp differences between venture capital (VC) and buyout (BO) funds.  BO managers build on their prior experience by increasing the size of their funds faster than VC managers do.  This leads to significantly higher revenue per partner and per professional in later BO funds. The results suggest that the BO business is more scalable than the VC business, and that past success has a differential impact on the terms of their future funds.


Amid Attacks on Private Equity, Efforts to Study Its Value

Andrew Metrick of the Yale School of Management and Ayako Yasuda of the University of California, Davis, found that private equity firms made about two-thirds of their money not from their 20 percent share of the profits but from the fees they charged to operate the companies. Published in the New York Times, January 2012.


the economist logo

Private Equity Under Scrutiny. Bain or Blessing?

The buy-out industry is under attack for destroying jobs. Its returns to investors are the real problem... Published in The Economist, January 2012.


The Wall Street Journal

It's the Fees, not the Profits

Private-Equity Firms Make Far More Charging Investors, Says a Study... Cited in the Wall Street Journal, September 2007.


Do Bank Relationships Affect the Firm’s Underwriter Choice in the Corporate-Bond Underwriting Market?


ABSTRACT: This paper studies the effect of bank relationships on underwriter choice in the U.S. corporate-bond underwriting market following the 1989 commercial-bank entry. I find that bank relationships have positive and significant effects on a firm’s underwriter choice, over and above their effects on fees. This result is sharply stronger for junk- bond issuers and first-time issuers. I also find that there is a significant fee discount when there are relationships between firms and commercial banks. Finally, I find that serving as arranger of past loan transactions has the strongest effect on underwriter choice, whereas serving merely as participant has no effect.