How Do Family Ownership, Control, and Management Affect Firm Value?
47 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2004
Date Written: December 10, 2004
Using proxy data on all Fortune 500 firms during 1994-2000, we establish that, in order to understand whether and when family firms are more or less valuable than nonfamily firms, one must distinguish among three fundamental elements in the definition of family firms: ownership, control, and management. Specifically, we find that family ownership creates value only when the founder serves as the CEO of the family firm or as its Chairman with a hired CEO. Control mechanisms including dual share classes, pyramids, and voting agreements reduce the founder's premium. When descendants serve as CEOs, firm value is destroyed. Our findings further suggest that the classic owner-manager conflict in nonfamily firms is more costly than the conflict between family and nonfamily shareholders in founder-CEO firms. However, the conflict between family and nonfamily shareholders in descendant-CEO firms is more costly than the owner-manager conflict in nonfamily firms.
Keywords: Family firms, ownership, control, management, value
JEL Classification: G32, G3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation