Shareholders have important rights, which they can exercise democratically at a company's general meeting, such as the power to control and supervise management of the company. The term 'shareholder democracy' relates to the different ways in which shareholders can influence or even determine a company's course of life. One of the disadvantages of shareholder democracy is a risk that most democratic systems face - it can lead to opportunistic behavior of, in this case, influential shareholders with personal interests which are not in line with the interest of the company. Globalizing financial markets call for a general debate of this topic in an international context. Shareholder democracy does not only play a part in takeover situations, it touches the very core of every company law system. The position of shareholders within the company model, for example, influences the corporate interest definition, which in turn has significant consequences for the position of the board of directors. This book places the topic of shareholder democracy in an international context and deals with the topic from a comparative point of view. It contains contributions from authors from various legal systems discussing the issue of shareholder democracy within their own jurisdiction. The book covers, among other topics, the power of shareholders in Germany, the UK, South Africa, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Publication Date: 6/5/2012