Ownership and Value Creation: Strategic Corporate Governance in the New Economy

Ownership and Value Creation: Strategic Corporate Governance in the New Economy

Ownership and Value Creation: Strategic Corporate Governance in the New Economy

Ownership and Value Creation: Strategic Corporate Governance in the New Economy


"Who owns the modern company? And how should owners behave? Rolf H. Carlsson brings a fresh eye and historical depth to the issue of ownership, management and value creation that every firm and its owners must consider."
Frances Cairncross, Management Editor, The Economist

"Rolf H. Carlsson gives a valuable historical review and illustrates with cases how active ownership has played an important role in company development...gives...interesting views on where corporate governance is heading and...advice on how to make it work well."
Percy Barnevik, Chairman of ABB, AstraZeneca, Investor, and Sandvik; Director (non-exec.) of GM

"The nuanced and rich analysis of ownership competence which can be found in Rolf H. Carlsson's book goes far beyond the traditional debate and provides truly interesting and valuable insights for investors, industrialists, entrepreneurs, and owners both in the private and the public sectors."
Richard Normann, Professor, Chairman of SMG

"Rolf H. Carlsson (analyses the) process...of (creating) long-term shareholder value...in which our model for corporate governance is key, and provides valuable insights into our approach to business."
Marcus Wallenberg, CEO, Investor AB

"Rolf H. Carlsson's...book on ownership (has been) eagerly awaited by the governance community. Carlsson is uniquely able to illumine those areas in which Swedish corporate structuring has been ahead of the world. It is a book that we all look forward to reading."
Robert A. G. Monks, Principal, Lens Investment Management

"Carlsson...outlines a powerful frame of reference and analytical tools to address issues of value creation and the role of active owners. This book is a significant contribution to the all-important issues of corporate governance. I was intrigued and pleased to read it."
Richard H. Koppes, Jones Day and Stanford Law School; former General Counsel, CalPERS

"...adds new perspectives by highlighting the demanding challenges of globalisation. A remarkable new book on the crucial issues of ownership and corporate governance."
Dr R. Marsch-Barner, Senior Counsel, Deutsche Bank AG

"This innovative book puts the spotlight on those who have the ultimate responsibility for corporate governance, the owners. It provides useful insight into the ways of effective ownership."
Professor Jay W. Lorsch, Harvard Business School


We need passion for ownership since true ownership itself has a strong element of passion. Owner/entrepreneurs who have changed the world – the Henry Fords (Ford), the Bill Gates (Microsoft), the Ted Turners (CNN), and the Ingvar Kamprads (IKEA) to name but a few – have all been passionate about their ideas and visions as well as for the sustainable prosperity of their companies. However, direct ownership of this type, or involving less spectacular individuals, is exceptional today. In terms of market capitalisation, the lion's share is owned by institutions of various kinds – mutual trusts, pension funds, insurance companies. Corporate ownership has become anonymous, predominantly faceless in many developed economies.

What is worse, this has happened in parallel with – or maybe because of – neglecting the importance of ownership for business as well as overall prosperity.

This book has come about because of a concern for, and I dare say, a passion for ownership. Ownership makes a difference. Ownership has an indispensable role to play in creating sustainable value in companies, for overall prosperity.

Since ownership has been neglected, it is crucial to spread the gospel of the blessings of ownership. I hope this book will support that cause by making its own distinctive contribution concerning the themes of ownership and value creation as outlined in the Introduction.

This book is based on one I published in Swedish (1997). However, this English version is largely rewritten to address an international audience as well as updated to reflect the current situation and new challenges of ownership, e.g. those generated by the new economy. The work on this version has also made it possible to deepen and expand my case study of the Wallenberg sphere. Hopefully, I have learnt a few lessons in the meantime as well.

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