Are Dual-Class Share Structures Bad for Investors?

Some of the most-popular US technology stocks have dual-class share structures, which give founders disproportionate control. How should investors weigh up the pros and cons?

David Brenchley 24 April, 2019 | 1:35PM
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Apple campus, Silicon Valley, tech stocks, dual-class share structures, corporate governance, ESG, Lyft IPO, Uber, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Berkshire Hathaway

One of the fundamental pillars of investing into listed companies is the one-share, one-vote principle that helps minority investors hold company executives to account. However, over the past few decades, this key tenet of the public market has come under pressure.

Since the mid-1980s, we’ve seen a rising trend for companies coming to market with dual-class share structures, which give founders and executives disproportionate control over voting rights. In the past four years, that trend has been accelerating even faster, driven by large Silicon Valley-based tech firms.

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The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
Allianz Technology Trust Ord310.52 GBP0.82Rating
Alphabet Inc A2,827.36 USD0.00Rating
Alphabet Inc Class C2,833.50 USD0.00Rating
Baillie Gifford American B Acc2,064.34 GBP1.29Rating
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class A427,701.00 USD0.00Rating
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B284.21 USD0.00Rating
Facebook Inc A324.76 USD0.00Rating
Janus Henderson Glb Tech Leaders I Acc3,951.29 GBP1.84Rating
JPMorgan Chase & Co166.61 USD0.00Rating
Lyft Inc Class A51.58 USD0.00Rating
Pinterest Inc52.67 USD0.00Rating
Scottish Mortgage Ord1,437.59 GBP0.78Rating
Snap Inc Class A77.34 USD0.00Rating

About Author

David Brenchley

David Brenchley  is a Reporter for Morningstar.co.uk