We define a family business as follows. For a privately held firm, a firm is classified as a family firm in case a family controls more than 50% of the voting rights. For a publicly listed firm, a firm is classified as a family firm in case the family holds at least 32% of the voting rights.
For further details on this definition see below.
The 32% cut-off is motivated by the observation that in OECD countries on average 30% of the votes are sufficient to dominate the general assembly of a publicly listed company. This is because on average only roughly 60% of the votes are present in the general assembly. To be more conservative in our classification we decided to use the 32% cut-off, which is also more conservative than most academic studies who often use a 25% or 20% cut-off. This assessment is based on ownership data as per 2013 respectively last available year. Jump to table.
Compiled by the Center for Family Business at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland in cooperation with EY's Global Family Business Center of Excellence. Data visualization by smartive. Version 1.1, May 19 2015.