Managerial and entrepreneurial activity of SSE Riga alumni in Latvia

With this study Anete Pajuste, Associate Professor at SSE Riga,  investigates both the managerial and entrepreneurial activity of SSE Riga graduates. Below you will find the results of her findings.

BSc GRADUATES

 

  • Ten years after graduation almost every third BSc graduate from Latvia leads and/or owns a company in Latvia.
  • In total there are 463 companies in Latvia that are led or owned by an SSE Riga BSc graduate.
  • The most popular industry is Consulting, in particular, business consulting services.
  • Among the 100 largest companies in Latvia, 13 companies are led by an SSE Riga BSc graduate.
  • The total turnover of all 463 companies that are led or owned by an SSE Riga BSc graduate is 5.20 billion EUR (in 2015), and the total number of employees at these companies exceeds 20 thousand. 
  • Five BSc graduates are in the management board of the TOP 10 largest companies in Latvia.

From the first graduation in 1996 until 2014, in total 1764 individuals received the SSE Riga BSc diploma. Two thirds of these graduates originate from Latvia. 

To evaluate managerial activity of SSE Riga graduates, we document the presence of our graduates in the boards of directors of companies in Latvia (at the end of 2015) with at least 100 000 EUR turnover in 2015. To evaluate entrepreneurial activity, we document the presence of our graduates among the owners of companies in Latvia (at the end of 2015) with at least 10 000 EUR turnover in 2015. We require at least 10% ownership to be classified as an owner. 

We find that every sixth graduate leads and/or owns companies in Latvia (in total 277 graduates), with 169 of them involved in one company and 108 involved in two or more companies (including one graduate involved in 13 companies). Two thirds of these 277 graduates both lead and own the company (178 graduates), while the rest either only lead the company (77) or only own it (22).

In total there are 463 companies in Latvia that are led or owned by an SSE Riga graduate; at 32 of them there are multiple graduates. The most popular industry group is Consulting (in particular, business consulting services), followed by Communications (mostly software programming), Wholesale and Retail of very different product categories, Real Estate Management, and Finance and Insurance.


 

It takes time to move up to a leadership position or raise capital to establish an enterprise. As expected, the majority of BSc graduates that lead or own companies in Latvia graduated more than 10 years ago, and they come from Latvia. Non-Latvian graduates are predominantly from Lithuania and Estonia. The proximity allows them to maintain connections to their home country during their studies, which means that many of them return to their home country after graduation. If we limit the sample to graduates originating from Latvia, we find that ten years after graduation almost every third graduate from Latvia leads and/or owns a company in Latvia (29.6%).


 

We find that our graduates generally prefer larger companies. The total turnover of all 463 companies that are led or owned by an SSE Riga BSc graduate is 5.20 billion EUR (in 2015), and the total number of employees at these companies exceeds 20 thousand. Among the 100 largest companies in Latvia, 13 companies are led by a graduate. Moreover, three graduates are in the management board of the largest company in Latvia (ELKO grupa), one in the 3rd largest (Latvenergo) and one in the 9th largest (Latvijas Gāze).


 


EMBA GRADUATES

 

  • 40% of all EMBA graduates lead a company in Latvia with at least 100 000 EUR turnover.
  • In total there are 131 company in Latvia that are led or owned by an SSE Riga EMBA graduate.
  • The most popular industries are Wholesale and Consulting.

From the first graduation in 2004 until 2014, in total 212 individuals received the SSE Riga EMBA diploma. This number does not include BSc programme graduates who also completed an EMBA degree.

In this study, we document the presence of our EMBA graduates in the boards of directors of companies in Latvia (at the end of 2015) with at least 100 000 EUR turnover in 2015. We find that 82 individuals or 40% of all EMBA graduates lead a company in Latvia with at least 100 000 EUR turnover; 51 of them lead one company and 31 lead two or more companies (including one graduate represented in seven companies).

In total there are 131 companies in Latvia that are led by an SSE Riga EMBA graduate; in 8 of them there are multiple graduates.

 

The most popular industry group is Wholesale and Retail (mostly wholesale), followed by Consulting (mostly business consulting services, Real Estate Management, Manufacturing, and Communications (e.g. telecommunications) and software programming.


IMPACT

 

  • From all the companies above the 100 000 EUR threshold there are 379 companies with at least one SSE Riga graduate and 51 companies with more than one SSE Riga director. 
  • Companies led by SSE Riga graduates constitute 12.7% of the total turnover (EUR 57.1 billion) generated by all the companies above the 100 000 EUR threshold.

Finally, we analyse all the companies in Latvia with a turnover of at least 100 000 EUR in 2015. We compare companies with at least one BSc or EMBA programme graduate in the board of directors with companies without any SSE Riga director.

There are 379 companies with at least one SSE Riga graduate and 51 companies with more than one SSE Riga director. 


 


 

These 379 companies constitute 1.4% of all 27,667 companies with at least 100 000 EUR turnover. The highest proportion of companies led by SSE Riga graduates is observed in the Finance & Insurance sector.

When we compare the market share of the companies led by our graduates, we once again find that our graduates choose larger companies. Companies led by SSE Riga graduates constitute 12.7% of the total turnover (EUR 57.1 billion) generated by all the companies above the 100 000 EUR threshold.


 

 


Methodology

We use the database ORBIS for company information. ORBIS is a comprehensive database containing financial information on millions of public and private companies worldwide, including financial performance, shareholder information, names of directors, etc. In the first step, we extract the first name and last name of all the board members and all the individual shareholders for each company registered in Latvia. We also extract a unique code assigned to each manager by the ORBIS database (this is not equivalent to the personal code), the company’s trade register number, the NACE Rev.2 industry code and the company’s turnover in the last available financial year (2015). In the second step, we use our alumni database to obtain the first name and last name of our graduates as well as their birthdate, graduation year, and country of origin. We collect information for all graduates from 1996 (the first graduation) until 2014 (the last year with completed records). For female graduates, we extract their current last name (not their maiden name). In the third step, we merge the two datasets by first name and last name to identify potential company-graduate matches. In the final step, we validate or reject the potential match by using different sources: graduate profiles in the alumni database, LinkedIn profiles, the LETA archive, or LURSOFT company records (by company trade register number). The match is confirmed only if the graduate either mentions involvement in the given company in his/her profile or the first part of the personal code of the board member in the LURSOFT database coincides with the graduate’s birthdate from the alumni database.

The author is grateful to SSE Riga student Ecaterina Grecu for her outstanding research assistance.


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Anete Pajuste, Associate Professor at SSE Riga and SSE Riga graduate (Class of 1997)

 

A.Pajuste holds a PhD in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. During her doctoral studies, she spent a year as a visiting research fellow at the Harvard University, and a semester at the European Central Bank.