Agency Costs

Definition of 'Agency Costs'


A type of internal cost that arises from, or must be paid to, an agent acting on behalf of a principal. Agency costs arise because of core problems such as conflicts of interest between shareholders and management. Shareholders wish for management to run the company in a way that increases shareholder value. But management may wish to grow the company in ways that maximize their personal power and wealth that may not be in the best interests of shareholders.

Investopedia explains 'Agency Costs'


Some common examples of the principal-agent relationship include: management (agent) and shareholders (principal), or politicians (agent) and voters (principal).

Agency costs are inevitable within an organization whenever the principals are not completely in charge; the costs can usually be best spent on providing proper material incentives (such as performance bonuses and stock options) and moral incentives for agents to properly execute their duties, thereby aligning the interests of principals (owners) and agents.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Direct Consolidation Loan

    A loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows the borrower to make a single monthly payment. The loan is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education and does not require borrowers to pay an application fee.
  2. Through Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation includes higher risk and potentially higher return investments "through" the fund's target date and beyond.
  3. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used, sold or disposed of first.
  4. American Dream

    The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance.
  5. Texas Ratio

    A ratio developed by Gerald Cassidy and other analysts at RDC Capital Markets to measure the credit problems of particular banks or regions of banks. The Texas ratio takes the amount of a bank's non-performing assets and loans, as well as loans delinquent for more than 90 days, and divides this number by the firm's tangible capital equity plus its loan loss reserve.
  6. Amortized Bond

    A financial certificate that has been reduced in value for records on accounting statements. An amortized bond is one that is treated as an asset, with the discount amount being amortized to interest expense over the life of the bond. If a bond is issued at a discount - that is, offered for sale below its par (face value) - the discount must be treated either as an expense or it can be amortized as an asset.
Trading Center