Contrasting views of shareholders
The quotations below show contrasting views of the role of shareholders as owners of a company.
‘Institutional investors sometimes behave as if they owned the business, whereas in fact they are just traders of pieces of paper.’
(Finance director of a FTSE 100 company, Financial Times, April 1998)
‘Shareholder activism is not a privilege – it is a right and a responsibility. When we invest in a company, we own part of that company and we are partly responsible for how that company progresses. If we believe there is something going wrong with the company, then we, as shareholders, must become active and vocal.’
(Mark Mobius, Fund Manager at Franklin Templeton Asset Management, 2 April 2010)
If you have invested in the shares of a company, you will want to monitor and, even, direct their activities. Finance providers have the same motivation. How businesses manage the relationship with their investors is the process of governance.