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Keywords:

  • corporate governance;
  • ownership structure
  • G32

Abstract

Berle and Means asserted that US corporations typically have dispersed shareholders; their evidence did not support this conclusion. Today, 59.74% of US corporations have ‘controlling shareholders’ who hold at least 10% of the shares; 24.57% are controlled and managed by a family; 16.33% are controlled by a widely-held financial institution; 13.55% are controlled through family trusts. In all size ranges, the USA has more corporations controlled by families than by financial institutions. In almost all size ranges, it has a higher percentage of family-controlled corporations than any of next four largest economies.