Jay Ritter
Cordell Eminent Scholar Jay Ritter

The market has changed, but super-voting shares are here to stay, says Mr. IPO

TechCrunch spoke with Cordell Eminent Scholar Jay Ritter about why stakeholders aren’t likely to push too hard against super-voting shares, despite that now would seem the time to do it. 

TechCrunch: So the bottom line, in your view, is that dual-class shares aren’t going away, no matter that shareholders don’t like them. They don’t dislike them enough to do anything about them. Is that right?

Ritter: If there was concern about entrenched management pursuing stupid policies for years, investors would be demanding bigger discounts. That might have been the case with Adam Neumann; his control wasn’t something that made investors enthusiastic about the company. But for most tech companies — of which I would not consider WeWork — because you have not only the founder but employees with equity-linked compensation, there is a lot of implicit, if not explicit, pressure on shareholder value maximization rather than kowtowing to the founders’ whims. I’d be surprised if they disappeared.

Read more in this Q&A with Ritter and TechCrunch