Working Paper No. 128. Per-Olof Bjuggren, Johan Eklund and Daniel Wiberg (2008). Institutional Ownership and the Returns on Investment.

Abstract: By examining a large number of Swedish listed firms, we analyse how institutional and foreign owners affect investment performance. To measure investment performance Mueller and Reardon’s (1993) marginal q is used, although derived directly from Tobin’s average q. Marginal q measures the ratio of the return on investment to the cost of capital. Our findings show that both domestic and foreign institutional owners positively influence firm performance. Furthermore a non-linear relation between institutional ownership concentration and performance is found. This is consistent with positive incentive effects and negative entrenchment effects. During the last decades the ownership structure of Swedish firms has undergone dramatic changes: institutional and foreign investors have been increasing their stakes, whereas Swedish households have decreased in importance. Controlling owners, often founding families, remain in control by resorting to an extensive use of dual-class shares. The practice of dual-class shares which separates cash-flow rights and control rights is also found to be an important determinant of firm performance that eradicates the positive influence of institutional ownership.