Danijela Miloš Sprčić, Antonija Kožul and Ena Pecina
Severe consequences of the global fi nancial crisis resulted in re-thinking the risk management processes and approaches, highlighting the need for a comprehensive risk management framework. Consequently, more and more companies are moving away from the Traditional “silo-based” Risk Management (TRM) to a more holistic approach known as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). This paper presents results of both exploratory and empirical research. First, we develop ERM Index that measures maturity of ERM process within the company. Then, we present empirical results on the level of maturity and determinants of risk management system development in listed Croatian companies. Research indicates low levels of ERM development: even 38 per cent of analysed companies have no elements of ERM system, from which 22 per cent do not manage corporate risks at all. Except the company’s size supported by the economies of scale argument, managers’ support is the most important determinant of ERM system maturity in Croatian companies.
The fact that cap-weighted indices provide an inefficient risk-return trade-off is well known today. Various research approaches evolved suggesting alternative to cap-weighting in an effort to come up with a more efficient market index benchmark. In this paper we aim to use such an approach and focus on the Croatian capital market. We apply statistical shrinkage method suggested by Ledoit and Wolf (2004) to estimate the covariance matrix and follow the work of Amenc et al. (2011) to obtain estimates of expected returns that rely on risk-return trade-off. Empirical findings for the proposed portfolio optimization include out-of-sample and robustness testing. This way we compare the performance of the capital-weighted benchmark to the alternative and ensure that consistency is achieved in different volatility environments. Research findings do not seem to support relevant research results for the developed markets but rather complement earlier research (Zoričić et al., 2014).
According to the agency theory, debt brings discipline to management and therefore, one way of reducing agency costs is by increasing the level of indebtedness. Even though there are a number of specificities of banks as corporations, this agency theory postulate should still be valid. This research is motivated by the need to understand microeconomics of banking better, which could be especially rewarding in CEE countries where the issues of credit risk, bank capital and corporate governance are specific. Accordingly, by testing the disciplinary role of debt in Croatian banks, we contribute to the still scarce literature on bank governance in Croatia. We operationalise the research by first generating an efficiency measure, which we believe adequately represents management efforts and ability to maximize the value of owners’ investment. In the next step, we explore the relation between banks' efficiency and leverage. Our results do not indicate that debt generally creates a discipline mechanism for bank managers in Croatia.