Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 499–521 | Cite as

IPO Firm Performance and Its Link with Board Officer Gender, Family-Ties and Other Demographics

  • Paul B. McGuinnessEmail author


Issues of social justice underlie the clamour for greater gender balance in top-management. The present study reveals that pursuit of such social justice is also value-enhancing in relation to the longer-run performance of initial public offerings (IPO) stocks, especially where female board members are unencumbered by family-connection with other directors. This study examines the economic benefits of board gender diversity for state- and privately controlled firms in the Hong Kong IPO market. Gender board diversity is much less common in state-run IPO firms. Within the subset of privately controlled IPO firms, distinction exists between entities that accommodate family-connected board officers and those that do not. Specifically, this study focuses on family-ties between board members. This issue allows for finer-grained assessment of family influence on firm performance. Stronger post-listing stock, return-on-assets and sales-on-assets performance arise in (1) privately controlled firms without family-connected board members and in (2) state-run entities. Gender diversity thus serves as a positive, but only when female director presence is untrammelled by family associations between directors. However, there is little evidence of a link between female board representation and IPO underpricing. Relative to state-backed issuers, privately controlled firm boards accommodate more women, younger officers and a broader mix of nationalities, but appear more-inclined to unify CEO and chair positions. Board duality, the fraction of independent directors and directors’ age and nationality exhibit little relation with initial and aftermarket stock returns. In prescriptive terms, minority investors gain from the inclusion of female directors, especially when IPO firm directors are unencumbered by family-affiliation with other board members. Results therefore add to the clarion of calls for greater female board presence.


Gender Family-ties Board demographics IPO performance Hong Kong 

JEL Classifications

M40 M48 G17 G30 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Finance, The Business Administration FacultyThe Chinese University of Hong KongSha TinHong Kong

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