This Article investigates the determinants of dividend policy in firms with concentrated
ownership structure. A review of the empirical literature shows that dividend payout ratios are lower in firms with controlling shareholders.
We explain this finding as a consequence of the legal rules governing cash distributions, which leave the dividend decision in the hands of the firm insiders, and the lack of monitoring mechanisms for checking the power of controlling shareholders. The analysis of the empirical evidence on dividend policy points out to the existence of an unresolved agency conflict between controlling shareholders and outside investors. We conclude that controlling shareholders are currently using the dividend policy to expropriate minority shareholders.
This paper studies how managers react to shareholder empowerment vis-à-vis governance provisions. We show that a staggered legislative change that increases noncompliance costs in the implementation of shareholder-initiated majority voting...Read more
Shareholder activism by hedge funds has taken hold in Germany in spite of large ownership concentration. This essay uses the example of Stada Arzneimittel AG to highlight features of activism, German style. It goes on to discuss the legal issues...Read more
In order to favor shareholder investment over a longer time horizon, Italy introduced loyalty shares in late 2014, which allow double voting rights after a two-year continuous holding period. Italian listed firms which adopted loyalty shares (...Read more
Companies with a dual-class structure have increasingly been involved in high-profile battles over the reallocation of control rights. Google, for instance, sought to entrench its founders’ control over the corporation by recapitalizing from a...Read more