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Italian banks' equity-based incentive plans: what does the future hold?

Stefano Dell'Atti (Department of Economics, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Stefania Sylos Labini (Department of Economics, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Saverio Morella (Department of Economics, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Article publication date: 18 November 2013



The purpose of this research is to contribute to the development of an effective incentive policy implementation model, through an in-depth analysis of the stock option and/or stock grant schemes adopted by the major Italian banking groups.


Out of the 77 banking groups operating in Italy on 30 June 2011, The paper selected 12 banking institutions that implemented either stock option or stock grant plans over the years 2007-2010. The documentary analysis was carried out on 22 stock option and/or stock grant schemes and based on the examination of corporate governance reports, as well as information memoranda on incentive plans.


The results show a limited implementation of equity-based incentive plans in the Italian banking sector during the investigation period (2007-2010) and clearly demonstrates that, as far as these types of incentives are concerned, there is ample room for improvement as well as substantial adjustments.

Research limitations/implications

The research covers a limited period of time. Therefore, further extending the scope of its survey will definitely be of great academic interest in the light of the latest regulatory changes made to the banking sector remuneration regime.


By giving a clear indication of the critical points that should be addressed to improve the policies in force, this research study aims to provide greater knowledge about the remuneration practices adopted by Italian banks, in terms of equity-based incentive plans.



JEL classification – G21, G28. Although the research was conducted jointly by the three authors, Section 1 can be attributed to Stefania Sylos Labini, Section 2 to Saverio Morella and Section 5 to Stefano Dell'Atti. Sections 3 and 4 are a collaborative effort of all the three authors.


Dell'Atti, S., Sylos Labini, S. and Morella, S. (2013), "Italian banks' equity-based incentive plans: what does the future hold?", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 270-292.



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