Large Powerful Shareholders and Cash Holding

29 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2009

See all articles by Ronald W. Anderson

Ronald W. Anderson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) - Xinhua College

Malika Hamadi

Surrey Business School

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

We study the relationship between liquid asset holding and the pattern of share ownership and control structures within the firm. We explore these issues using a data set of Belgian firms that is particularly well suited to studying the institutions of control oriented finance. The data include information on ownership concentration, voting alliances, managerial ownership, membership in family groups, institutional cross-share holdings, and coordination centers which under Belgian law permit consolidation of earnings and cash flow for a group of firms. We show that financial structures in Belgium are strongly control oriented as evidenced by the very high levels of observed ownership concentration and the prevalence of pyramids, voting alliances, and participation in family groups. We find that the level of liquid asset holding is positively associated with ownership concentration and that this effect is particularly marked for family firms. Given the difficulties of family firms in achieving effective wealth diversification we interpret these results as indicating liquid asset holding is largely motivated by risk aversion. Cash holding is negatively associated with institutional cross share holdings, suggesting that these cross holdings facilitate an effective internal capital market. We find little evidence that managers have an independent influence on cash holdings.

Keywords: Corporate governance, Family firms, Liquid assets

JEL Classification: C23, G32

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Ronald W. and Hamadi, Malika, Large Powerful Shareholders and Cash Holding (May 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7291, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433886

Ronald W. Anderson (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Finance ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 6204 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 7420 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/ANDERSOR/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) - Xinhua College ( email )

China

Malika Hamadi

Surrey Business School

Surrey Business School
Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

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