Based on a unique and consistent dataset of firm ownership in Europe, we set out to systematically catalogue and categorise owners of European equities by type (i.e. family, institutional etc.), and show the importance of ownership coalitions to achieving control. We also highlight the increasing importance of institutional investors and conversely, their weakness in relation to prevailing ownership structures. Their influence is clearly limited where a single shareholder has legal control, and also where ownership coalitions rule. The legal ownership category accounts for over 50% of the top 100 public companies in the Continental European economies examined
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