Using data from Hong Kong, a market that has family-concentrated ownership structure, we examine the relation between managerial ownership, the board of directors and firm performance. We first conduct analysis on the managerial ownership and firm performance to derive the turning points where either ‘convergence of interest’ or ‘entrenchment’ effect of managerial ownership is dominant. Based on these estimated turning points, we find that at low and high level of ownership, effective board mitigates the entrenchment effect associated with managerial ownership; at medium level of ownership, board effectiveness is less demanded. These findings suggest that managerial ownership and board monitoring are substitutes in mitigating the agency problem between managers and shareholders. We also find that effective board curbs the excessive compensation by entrenched managers to themselves at low level of managerial ownership.