Should companies with dual class shares be premium listed?
From Iain Mcgee on June 3rd, 2021
About the event
The Kalifa Review of UK Fintech and the UK Listing Review of Lord Hill have proposed enabling companies with ‘dual class’ share structures to be ‘premium listed’. A dual class share structure usually involves more votes per share for one or two shareholders, often a founding director, while other shareholders have fewer votes. Companies can already have different voting rights attached to shares, however a combination of regulation and institutional investor reluctance has prevented dual class share companies being in ‘premium’ listings particularly on the London Stock Exchange. This matters because many index linked investment funds track premium listings, and non-premium companies lose those investments and liquidity. On the one hand, it is argued that dual class shares are prevalent in the US, particularly among ‘big tech’ firms such as Facebook, Google, Snap, or Alibaba and the UK should enable greater flexibility if this will attract innovative companies to list. On the other hand, it is argued that dual class share structures may weaken accountability, and the evidence of innovation is unclear. There are a vast range of views, and so we are delighted to host a public discussion to inform debate.
Chair: Anna Christie, Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh
Anne Glover, CEO of Amadeus Capital, and Kalifa Review co-author
Luca Enriques, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
Claire Keast-Butler, Partner, Cooley LLP
Chris Locke, Partner, Ernst & Young, and Hill Review Advisory Panel
Dionysia Katelouzou, School of Law, King’s College, London
Janice Turner, co-chair of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees
Ewan McGaughey, School of Law, King’s College, London