IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Foundation ownership and financial performance. Do companies need owners?

  • Thomsen, Steen

    (Department of Finance, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Rose, Caspar

    (Department of Finance, Copenhagen Business School)

Registered author(s):

    A curious ownership structure is found in Northern Europe – foundations that own and operate business companies. The foundations are non-profit entities, they have no members and no owners, and they cannot be dissolved, but regard it as a goal in itself to run a business. In many cases these entities control more than 50% of the votes in successful international companies such as Carlsberg and IKEA. Obviously this structure completely blocks the market for corporate control, but it also violates other basic principles of agency theory and corporate finance: the personal profit motive and portfolio diversification of risk. Nevertheless we present evidence that a sample of foundation-owned companies listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange are at least as efficient as other listed companies in terms of risk adjusted stock returns, accounting returns and firm value (Tobin’s Q). These findings have potentially important implications for the theory of the firm, in particular they question whether profit-seeking ownership is a necessary condition for competitive enterprise. They also invite caution against forcing a harmonization of European corporate governance to Anglo-American standards.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://openarchive.cbs.dk/cbsweb/handle/10398/7198
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Copenhagen Business School, Department of Finance in its series Working Papers with number 2002-3.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Apr 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsfin:2002_003
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Finance, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, A5, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Phone: +45 3815 3815
    Web page: http://www.cbs.dk/departments/finance/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
    2. Markus Herrmann & Günter Franke, 2002. "Performance and Policy of Foundation‐owned Firms in Germany," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 8(3), pages 261-279.
    3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
    4. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
      • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Loderer, Claudio & Martin, Kenneth, 1997. "Executive stock ownership and performance Tracking faint traces," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 223-255, August.
    6. Dutta, Prajit K & Radner, Roy, 1999. "Profit Maximization and the Market Selection Hypothesis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 769-98, October.
    7. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Stein, Jeremy C, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 655-69, November.
    9. Fama, Eugene F. & Jensen, Michael C., 1985. "Organizational forms and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 101-119, March.
    10. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    11. Oliver D. Hart, 1987. "Incomplete Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," Working papers 448, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    12. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    13. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
    14. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
    15. Himmelberg, Charles P. & Hubbard, R. Glenn & Palia, Darius, 1999. "Understanding the determinants of managerial ownership and the link between ownership and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-384, September.
    16. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58.
    17. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1852, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    18. Hansmann, Henry, 1988. "Ownership of the Firm," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 267-304, Fall.
    19. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    20. R. H. Coase, 1972. "Industrial Organization: A Proposal for Research," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 3, Policy Issues and Research Opportunities in Industrial Organization, pages 59-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Steen Thomsen, 1999. "Corporate Ownership by Industrial Foundations," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 117-137, March.
    22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521663731 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Demsetz, Harold & Villalonga, Belen, 2001. "Ownership structure and corporate performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 209-233, September.
    24. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
    25. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-49, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsfin:2002_003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lars Nondal)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.