Organizations controlled by family shareholder groups usually have flatter organizational structures and offer swifter decision making than their non-family controlled competitors. Executives who are also owners and have grown up together, and even their non-family colleagues and successors, tend to be self-selected for their intuitive ability to leverage long histories together – even pre-dating their shared working lives – to develop mutual trust. In the acquisition setting, such trust-building skills and decision-making speed can advantage a family-controlled acquirer, especially when time is of the essence in deciding whether to make a winning bid.

The risk is that such management groups may become inbred and the absence of diversity in their midst can mask a failure to see new opportunities for growth by acquisition in the marketplace that other more diverse management teams may perceive.