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Belen Villalonga

Belen Villalonga

Joined Stern 2012

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Tisch Hall
40 West Fourth Street, 7-21
New York, NY 10012


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Belén Villalonga is a Professor of Management and Organizations, a Yamaichi Faculty Fellow, and a Professor of Finance (by courtesy) at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Between 2001 and 2012 she was a faculty member at the Harvard Business School.

Professor Villalonga’s work focuses on family business, corporate strategy and corporate governance. She has written several articles on how family ownership and control influence firms’ governance and strategy and, ultimately, their performance. She has also studied extensively the area of corporate diversification. Her award-winning research has been published in leading academic journals and cited over 1,800 times in scientific publications (per ISI Web of Science) and over 9,300 in research papers (per Google Scholar). It has also been featured on CNBC, NPR, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes and many other international business publications. Professor Villalonga serves as an independent director at three companies that are global leaders in their industries: Grifols (hemoderivatives)—where she chairs the Audit Committee—, Acciona (renewable energy and infrastructure), and Talgo (high-speed trains)—where she chairs the Strategy Committee.

She holds a Ph.D. in Management and an M.A. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. She also holds a second Ph.D. in Business Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid. She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and conversant in Portuguese and Italian.

Research Interests

  • Family business
  • Diversification
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate strategy
  • Corporate finance

Courses Taught

  • Managing Family Businesses

Academic Background

Ph.D., Management, 2001
University of California, Los Angeles

Ph.D., Economic and Management Sciences, 2000
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

M.A., Economics, 1998
University of California, Los Angeles

B.A., Economic and Management Sciences, 1991
Colegio Universitario de Estudios Financieros, Madrid

Awards & Appointments

Academy of Management Association Distinguished Paper Award, Glueck Best Paper Award, Business Policy and Strategy Division 2012
Harvard Business School Junior Faculty Recipient, Wyss Award for Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students 2010
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) Standard Life Investments Finance Prize for the best paper in the Finance Working Paper series 2007
INSEAD Andr? Hoffman Visiting Professor of Family Enterprise 2007
Acciona Independent Director, 2006 - present 2006
Harvard Business School Associate Professor, Finance Unit, 2006 - 2012 2006
Family Firms Institute Best Unpublished Research Paper Award 2006
Journal of Finance First Prize, 2004 Brattle Prize for outstanding papers 2005
Financial Management First Prize, 2002-2004 Addison-Wesley Prize for the best papers 2004
Harvard Business School Assistant Professor, Finance Unit, 2001 - 2006 2001

Selected Publications

Villalonga, Belén, and Raphael Amit (2010)
Family control of firms and industries
Financial Management, 39 (3), 863-904

Villalonga, Belén, and Raphael Amit (2009)
How are U.S. family firms controlled?
Review of Financial Studies, 22 (8), 3047-3091

Villalonga, Belén, and Raphael Amit (2006)
How do family ownership, control, and management affect firm value?
Journal of Financial Economics, 80 (2), 385-417

Villalonga, Belén, and Anita McGahan (2005)
The choice among acquisitions, alliances, and divestitures
Strategic Management Journal, 26 (13), 1183-1208

Villalonga, Belén (2004)
Diversification discount or premium? New evidence from the Business Information Tracking Series
Journal of Finance, 59, 479-506

Villalonga, Belén (2004)
Does diversification cause the 'diversification discount'?
Financial Management, 33 (2), 5-27

Belén Villalonga and Harold Demsetz (2001)
Ownership structure and corporate performance
Journal of Corporate Finance, 7, 209-233