The Ownership Project 1.0 at Oxford Saïd, 2018-2022
This first phase of the Ownership Project completed its work in 2022.
Launched in 2018, Ownership Project 1.0 sought to empirically understand the impact of family ownership on businesses, communities and society - and the key factors that will shape sustainable ownership in the future.
It is not how we spend money but how we make it that matters most. Business can be a force for good, as long as its purpose is not merely to make money but to serve the community and satisfy societal needs sustainably.
We delivered independent analysis of the impact of ownership on business, society and the environment.
Key themes were:
- Examining ownership for influence and impact
- How owners influence their businesses
- How these businesses in turn impact society.
Key research questions were:
- How can long-term corporate commitments be governed effectively?
- How can ownership and governance lock in corporate commitment to fulfil purpose beyond profit maximisation?
- What role can owners play in responding to longer-term and emerging systemic risks?
- What is the level of continuity across owners’ platforms eg philanthropy, investments, and core business(es)?
- How do owners secure support for these arrangements from decision-makers including board members, senior management, and other shareholders?
The Impact and Activities Report 2018-2022 summarises the work done to connect large family businesses, participate in public discussions and produce an array of data to drive conversations within this community and the general public.
The founding team
- Colin Mayer CBE FBA, Principal Investigator, Visiting Professor, Blavatnik School of Government and Emeritus Professor, Saïd Business School
- Peter Tufano, Principal Investigator, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School and Emeritus Professor, Saïd Business School
- Mary Johnstone-Louis, Programme Director, Senior Fellow in Management Practice, Saïd Business School
- Bridget Kustin, Qualitative Research Lead, Senior Research Fellow and Director, The Ownership Project 2.0: Private Capital Owners & Impact
- Belén Villalonga, Visiting Scholar, Professor of Management and Organisations, NYU
- Clarissa Hauptmann, Research Fellow, Senior Consultant, McKinsey & Co.
- Boya Wang, Quantitative Lead, ESG Analyst EMEA, Morningstar
First Family Advisory Council, 2018-2022
Family business leaders who brought research into practice
Number of employees
$BN USD in revenue/AUM
Our first Family Advisory Council brought senior owners from family enterprises from across the globe together to establish pathways towards responsible ownership.
The Council met as a group and in regular one-to-one sessions with our researchers to test our ideas and ensure that our insights were disseminated to the people holding the levers enabling change.
This is possibly the only place where I have found the topic of the long-term purpose of ownership to be regularly tackled. To be a part of this discussion at a time when companies are so challenged is very positive.
Launch of Ownership Project 2.0
Our work continues and the Ownership Project's second-phase initiative, Ownership Project 2.0: Private Capital Owners and Impact launched in March 2023. Building on the deep existing relationships established in phase one we are now examining a new generation of family wealth-holders who seek to use their financial resources to address climate change, public health, social and economic inequality, and other challenges identified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
*Participation in our research, teaching, or convening does not imply our endorsement of any particular individual or group.