Within the "Finance" research domain, capital structure decisions within (private) family firms is a major topic. With respect to debt policy in family businesses, the supply as well as the demand perspective are being studied. The supply side focuses on the banks' point of view and the applied debt conditions toward family businesses. A research project has been initiated to study whether family-specific characteristics play an important role in a family firm's ability to attract bank debt. On the other hand, the demand side of financing takes into account the family owner-manager's willingness to attract debt financing. Our research group follows a behavioral approach to extend current knowledge on the demand side of financing. We, for example, study whether the CEO’s financial knowledge is related to the willingness to apply for debt financing.
Next to capital structure decisions, we also focus on the financing of ownership transfers within private family businesses. In contrast to management succession, ownership transfers involve the acquisition of a major shareholder stake and, therefore, the financing of this acquisition is a crucial element of ownership succession. Both the antecedents of the ownership transfer financing decision and the consequences for firm development are being examined.