Are IPO Allocations for Sale? Evidence from Mutual Funds

  • Author(s): JONATHAN REUTER
  • Published: Sep 19, 2006
  • Pages: 2289-2324
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2006.01058.x


Combining data on brokerage commissions that mutual fund families paid for trade execution between 1996 and 1999 with data on mutual fund holdings of initial public offerings (IPOs), I document a robust, positive correlation between commissions paid to lead underwriters and reported holdings of the IPOs they underwrite. Moreover, I find that the correlation is limited to IPOs with nonnegative first‐day returns and strongest for IPOs that occur shortly before mutual funds report their holdings, when the noise introduced by flipping is smallest. Overall, the evidence suggests that business relationships with lead underwriters increase investor access to underpriced IPOs.

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