Poll: shareholders’ class problem

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 23 Apr 2019

Dual-class stock structures are on the rise as Silicon Valley’s brightest and best reach IPO stage. Critics argue the practice undermines public markets

Are dual-class stock structures bad for corporate governance?

IFLR publishes its monthly poll question on iflr.com and Linkedin group page iflr.com/LinkedIn. Throughout the month, IFLR’s editorial team gather the responses and interview selected respondents. The next poll is online now.

Cutting-edge technology, young founders, a Silicon Valley zip code: many of the so-called unicorns currently working towards going public have a lot in common. Another commonality – perhaps one more relevant for IFLR readers – is the penchant so many of these companies appear to have for the dual-class stock structure.

Although they've existed since the 19th century, dual-class shares truly entered the industry lexicon following Google parent company Alphabet's initial public offering (IPO) in 2004. Roughly 20% of US tech firms that...