Big Three Ownership in Sweden : A quantitative study of how the Big Three influence firmspecific corporate governance in Sweden
Abstract: Background: Since the financial crisis in 2008, the inflows into index funds havedramatically increased compared to actively managed funds. When discussing indexfunds in a global context there are three big players, Blackrock, Vanguard, and StateStreet which are described as permanent universal owners. The reason for this isbecause index funds cannot by themselves determine when to sell a stock. Additionally, the inflows into these funds have led to a more concentrated ownership structure. For example, 88 percent of S&P 500 firms have the Big Three as the largest owner. Therefore, many questions have been raised about how the Big Three act as owners. Purpose: The purpose with this study is to explain how the Big Three act as owners infirm specific corporate governance at their Swedish holdings. This thesis can hopefully contribute to the previous inconclusive evidence in the literature if the Big Three influence firm specific corporate governance, but from a Swedish setting. Method: This quantitative study uses an explanatory and deductive research approach. The empirical data was collected from the Holdings database as well as from the annual reports for our selected sample. Additionally, multiple statistical tests were conducted toanalyse the empirical material. Findings: The findings from this thesis shows that the Big Three are active owners anddo influence firm specific corporate governance at their Swedish holdings. The findings indicate that the Big Three are not as passive of an owner as many scholars previously thought.
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