The Private Shareholder
This chapter examines the role of private shareholders in corporate governance and the fragmentation of shareholding in the UK. As late as 1963 a majority of shares were owned by private shareholders. Given that they hold less than 20% in aggregate, and the number of shareholders is large, it follows that private shareholdings will be fragmented. Such fragmentation may contribute to the efficient working of the stock market, but in terms of the power management, it means there is virtually no accountability. Directors are usually not wholly insensitive to criticism especially if it is well directed. So individuals might, and still do, exert influence to some extent, but they have no power. If they band together as shareholder's associations sometimes attempt, the situation can change.
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