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Past research

Past Research

As part of the activities of the AUB Observatory, Guido Corbetta and Fabio Quarato conducted a research aimed at understanding the real diffusion of trust companies in Italy as well as the main corporate and governance characteristics of the companies that have made this choice. This is the first research conducted in Italy on the topic, and the results were published in the STEP Italy magazine of January / February 2022.

There is more and more anecdotal evidence that leads us to believe that the trust company is a tool used by Italian entrepreneurial families to govern controlled companies. However, it was lacking a complete analysis which give a scientific substance to this hypothesis. With this research it was found that (at least) one trust company is present in the shareholding structure of over 1,300 Italian companies. Other features are present in the search outputs

You can download the research outputs below:

The agreement

London Stock Exchange Group and Bocconi University have signed an agreement aimed to promote the culture of the listing of the SMEs in the institutions, enterprises and financial system of our country.
The agreement was renewed in 2013 for a further three years and Denny De Angelis, previous Managing Director of the AIDAF-EY Chair in Family Business Strategy, was confirmed in the role of coordinator of this initiative. This agreement is contextualized in the context of the Elite project, launched by Borsa Italiana.

The activities

In order to pursue the objectives of the agreement, 4 main lines of activity have currently been identified and planned:

  1. Research: during the 3-year duration of the agreement, 3 scientific studies will be carried out jointly on issues relating to the access of SMEs to risk capital and on similar and synergistic topics. In particular, in 2010 a study was carried out aimed at quantifying the weight and representativeness of the stock market on the Italian economic system and at highlighting the positive effects that the growth in the number of listed SMEs could have on our country system.
  2. Project Management: in the three-year period 2010-2013, some projects were developed aimed at consolidating relations between the university system, financial markets, institutions and the fabric of Italian SMEs. During 2011, for example, some of the most deserving students of Bocconi University were involved in a project that involved the creation of business cases that would highlight how the choice to go public has acted, for some Italian SMEs, as a driving force for growth and development.
  3. Training: furthermore, in the three-year period 2010-2013, a series of training initiatives aimed at the top management of companies in the process of listing were planned, with the aim of enriching companies with those managerial tools essential to successfully face entry in the stock market.
  4. Disclosure, Promotion and Communication: the agreement provides for the implementation of a series of dissemination, promotion and institutional communication activities assessed from time to time the opportunity.

In 2010 the AIDAF-Alberto Falck Chair in Strategic Management in Family Business, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, has launched a research project focused on more than 1.100 Italian companies located in the Milan area and with a turnover higher than 20 million euros.

This project is aimed to bring to a better comprehension of the characteristics and needs of this cluster of companies, of the impact of the recent global financial crisis on their business dynamics and strategies and of their satisfaction with respect to the support received by the local institutions, and to the availability - in the Milan area - of skilled labour force and of high-quality services for individuals, families and companies.

The results of the study were presented in June 2011 (Italian)

Report Progetto Milano 2011

Report Progetto Milano 2012

Report Progetto Milano 2013

Report Progetto Milano 2014

Report Progetto Milano 2015

Project developed by AIDAF-EY Chair of Family Business Strategy within the relationship with Ernst & Young.

The Italian large- and medium-sized businesses are mainly managed by a single family or by a coalition of families. Their usual strategy is articulated in a number of corporate levels and companies. The top level of the group is usually identified as an "industrial holding", which is a holding company that owns the shares of the main other group companies.

The research is a first attempt to identify and analyze the different kinds of industrial holdings that compose the network of Italian medium- and large-sized family businesses. The subject of the research is innovative; first of all, because of the wide range of shapes that these holdings can take, secondly because the classical researches do not offer a framework of group structures and a clear overview of the role of the "holdings" in family-owned groups.

The first part of the paper analyzes the features, the control structures and the performances of Italian family large- and medium-sized businesses (with sales exceeding 50 million euros). The second part of the essay deals with the control structures, the leadership patterns, the corporate bodies and the performance of larger family businesses (with sales exceeding one billion euros). The last part of the research offers some reflections on the relationship between the holding company and its subsidiaries, this analysis is based on some interviews of the leaders of the holding company of some of the larger groups.

The research was presented on May 3rd 2012 during a conference at Bocconi University. During this round table the results of the research were analyzed in the light of the growing number of groups that make up a holding company in order to meet the monitoring and strategic requirements.

It is possible to download the following materials (in Italian).

Slide dei risultati

Executive Summary

Sintesi dei risultati

Comunicato stampa

Il Sole 24 Ore - 4 maggio 2012