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Jesse Fried

  • Thirteen Harvard Law School faculty listed among SSRN’s 100 most-cited law school professors

    January 29, 2015

    Statistics released by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) indicate that, as of the end of 2014, Harvard Law School faculty members featured prominently on SSRN’s list of the 100 most-cited law professors.

  • Can CEO Pay Ever Be Reeled In?

    October 30, 2014

    The compensation of American executives—CEOs and their “C-suite” colleagues—has long been a matter of controversy, especially recently, as the wages of average workers have stagnated and economic inequality has moved to the center of the national debate. Just about every spring, the season of corporate proxy votes, we see the rankings of the highest-paid CEOs, topped by men like David Cote of Honeywell, who in 2013 took home $16 million in salary and bonus, and another $9 million in stock options...But Lucian Bebchuk and Jesse Fried, in their 2004 book Pay Without Performance, argued that this procedure is a comforting fiction. They wrote that skyrocketing executive pay is the blatant result of CEOs’ power over decisions within U.S. firms, including compensation...Bebchuk and Fried showed that CEOs typically have considerable influence over the nominating process and can exert their power to block or put forward nominations, so directors have a sense that they were brought in by the CEO.

  • Should Principals Be Treated Like CEOs?

    June 30, 2014

    …But how can schools attract and retain good principals? One education-policy think tank suggests that part of the answer may be making the role more like an executive and giving each principal a $100,000 salary raise...But while there’s certainly a “you-get-what-you pay-for” aspect to any profession, educators don’t necessarily correspond neatly to executives. Generally, bonuses work, so long as they don’t cause principals to focus on certain criteria at the expense of their job as a whole, according to Jesse Fried, professor of law at Harvard and co-author of Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation. “People going into teaching are obviously not motivated solely by the prospect of financial gain,” he says. “[But] if society substantially underpays principals, many good people will not seek these jobs or stay in them.”

  • David Barron should be confirmed to US Court of Appeals

    May 13, 2014

    An op-ed by Charles Fried and Laurence H. Tribe. Although the two of us frequently approach legal questions from different perspectives, and just as often disagree about the best answers to those questions, we share a respect for our Constitution and a reverence for the judicial process. That’s why, in spite of our disagreements, we agree that Harvard Law School professor David Barron is exceptionally well-qualified to hold a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and that the Senate should promptly confirm him.

  • 10 Things CEOs won’t tell you

    May 12, 2014

    … 4. I’ll cash out at the first opportunity. Since the accounting scandals of the early 2000s, corporate reformers have argued that CEOs should be required to own company stock and to keep it throughout their tenure — ensuring that the CEO’s financial interests are aligned with those of the company’s shareholders. But although 95% of the top 250 U.S. public firms have adopted these policies, they’ve been “extremely ineffectual” in requiring CEOs to hold onto their own firm’s stock, according to a paper accepted for publication in the Indiana Law Journal by Nitzan Shilon [SJD `14], a research fellow at Harvard Law School… 8. Activist shareholders pull my strings. CEOs at publicly traded companies are supposed to listen to their shareholders — but some investors speak louder than others. Recent years have brought a spike in “activist” investing by hedge-fund managers and other big-money players whose modus operandi is to buy a large share of a company, and then demand changes in strategy and management. “Acting in the shadow of shareholder activism, companies are also reviewing their boards and removing people who aren’t equipped to be there,” says Jesse Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who studies executive compensation and corporate governance. In theory, this helps companies make better decisions, he adds.

  • The High-Stakes Fight Over How to Measure CEO Pay

    May 1, 2014

    The 848-page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act dedicates 149 words to framing a new disclosure about “pay versus performance” at public companies. Boards and management must deliver “a clear description” to shareholders of “the relationship between executive compensation actually paid and the financial performance of the issuer,” the law states…“If you’re stripping out pension valuations and other things, you’re cooking the books,” says Harvard Law School professor Jesse Fried, co-author of Pay without Performance: the Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation.

  • HLS Professor Mark Roe

    A roundtable at HLS on corporate time horizons

    October 22, 2012

    A group of senior corporate managers, finance practitioners, and academics from Europe and the U.S. gathered at HLS on Sept. 14-15 for a conference on the role of corporate governance in encouraging long-term value in public corporations.

  • Bridging theory and practice in corporate law

    January 24, 2012

    For the last several years, former Harvard Law School Dean Robert C. Clark ’72 has broken with tradition in teaching his mergers and acquisitions course. It isn’t enough to read leading cases, he realized; students still may leave the classroom without any real understanding of how to structure a deal, identify and avoid pitfalls, and recognize why personalities matter—in short, how M&As work in the real world.

  • Bebchuk, Shavell, Kaplow, Fried, and Cohen Make SSRN’s Top Ten List

    January 13, 2012

    Harvard Law School’s faculty and fellows earned the top ranking for the total number of citations of their work on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), according to cumulative statistics released for 2011. HLS faculty members captured five out of the top 10 slots – including the number one slot – among law school faculty in all legal fields.

  • Hard Hats Required: The risky business of repairing the U.S. financial system

    July 1, 2010

    Two years after the government bailout of Bear Stearns set off the first shock wave, the Bulletin interviewed HLS faculty and alumni on what went wrong, on where the greatest dangers remain in our financial system and what to do about them.

  • Jesse Friedand Lucian Bebchuk

    Bebchuk and Fried: Taming the Stock Option Game

    December 1, 2009

    This op-ed by Harvard Law School Professors Lucian Bebchuk LL.M. ’80 S.J.D ’84. and Jesse Fried, entitled “Taming the Stock Option Game,” appeared in the November 2009 edition of Project Syndicate. This article builds on their study “Equity Compensation for Long-term Performance.” Bebchuk and Fried are co-authors of “Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation.”

  • Jesse M. Fried

    Jesse Fried will join HLS faculty

    June 8, 2009

    Jesse Fried ’92, a leading expert in executive compensation, corporate governance, corporate bankruptcy, and venture capital, will join the Harvard Law School faculty in the fall. He is currently a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley.

  • Bebchuk on Making Directors Accountable

    November 19, 2004

    After a decade of soaring to unprecedented levels, executive compensation is the subject of an intense debate. In their just published "Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation," HLS Professor Lucian Bebchuk LL.M. '80 S.J.D. '84 and UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Jesse Fried '92 explore the causes and consequences of flawed compensation arrangements.