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We examine the benefits and costs associated with foreign independent directors (FIDs) at U.S. corporations. We find that firms with FIDs make better cross-border acquisitions when the targets are from the home regions of FIDs. However, FIDs also display poor board meeting attendance records, and firms with FIDs are more prone to commit intentional financial misreporting and overpay their CEOs and have lower CEO turnover sensitivity to performance. Finally, firms with FIDs are associated with significantly poorer performance, especially as their business presence in the FID’s home region becomes less important.

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