In Defense of Diminished Shareholder Rights

By Sam Willie

In the wake of the Alibaba listing on the New York Stock Exchange  (NYSE) much has been made about the exchange’s willingness to accept a protective share structure seemingly at the expense of shareholder rights. In a thought provoking article in the Independent, Anthony Hilton offers a British take on the debate, arguing that shareholder voice is not all its made out to be, and moreover, that London would benefit from permitting flexibility in corporate governance. Hilton suggests that we accept that shareholders infrequently exercise their rights to work with boards in supporting long-term value creation and adjust corporate law to reflect that reality.