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Lie Study Tipped off Stock Options Probe

Tipped off by an academic study, which showed that more than 2,000 companies may have backdated options between 1996 and 2005, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began investigating options backdating in earnest last spring. The study came from ERIK LIE of the University of Iowa and has now become required reading for those interested in executive compensation. Lie doesn't name any companies, but suggests that the practice of backdating grant dates to boost senior executives' bank accounts is widespread among U.S. issuers. The publication is based in the United Kingdom.

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