Reforming Share-Voting Systems: The Case of Italy

21 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2011

See all articles by B. Espen Eckbo

B. Espen Eckbo

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Giulia Paone

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business

Date Written: April 25, 2011

Abstract

Institutional shareholders around the world increasingly use share-voting to protect their portfolio investments and improve corporate governance. However, exercising voting rights involves costly and often arcane country-specific legal rules. Efforts are under way to harmonize cross-border share-voting systems and proxy voting rules in the U.S. and in Member States of the European Union (EU). We comment on the recent changes to the share-registration system and voting chain for publicly traded companies in Italy, triggered by the 2007 EU Shareholder Rights Directive. We highlight continuing voting impediments in Italy, and suggest that moving to a centralized or “direct” share registration system would reduce voting-chain complexity further. Examples of centralized share registration systems, which permit “straight-through” processing of shareholder votes and eliminate “empty” voting, are found in the Nordic countries.

Keywords: shareholder registry, cross-border voting, voting chain, voting rights, share blocking, centralized share deposit, electronic voting, proxy voting, EU shareholder rights directive

JEL Classification: G34, G38, K22

Suggested Citation

Eckbo, B. Espen and Paone, Giulia, Reforming Share-Voting Systems: The Case of Italy (April 25, 2011). Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2011-93. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1822287 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1822287

B. Espen Eckbo (Contact Author)

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-3953 (Phone)
603-646-3805 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tuck.dartmouth.edu/eckbo

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Giulia Paone

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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