We examine the relation between the presence of an independent director who is a blockholder (IDB) and corporate policies, risk-taking, and market valuation. After accounting for endogeneity, firms with an IDB have significantly (1) lower levels of cash holdings, payout and research and development (R&D) expenditures, (2) higher levels of capital expenditures, and (3) lower risk. The market appears to value IDB presence and the associated decrease in dividend yield. About 75% of the IDBs in our sample are individual investors, who drive most of our results. Our findings suggest that IDB presence plays a valuable role in shaping some corporate policies and allocating corporate resources.