What are Voting Shares?
Voting shares give the preference to the holder to vote in matters of the company decision making and policies which allow the person to vote specifically for the selection of the board of directors and other governing affairs of the company.
Voting shares give the holder of it the power or authority to decide about how the management of the company should look like especially in terms of the selection of the board of directors. It gives the investor an authority to decide how the corporate policy of a particular company should be framed and has the power to accept or reject certain key decisions like acquisition or mergers or buyback. Holders of this share will generally receive constant updates or communication from the company pertaining to matters where their vote is required to decide about affairs related to the decision making of the company.
How Does it Work?
Stock or shares of a company generally means equity ownership of the company where holding 1 share or a million shares matters the same i.e. one is considered to be an owner of the company. Companies also go by this model of distributed ownership to raise capital for the company and use it for further operations or expansion and thus we have primarily two types of shares which are classified as voting or common shares and preferred shares. Here we are going to talk about how does it work.
- Voting or common shares give the shareholders the right or authority to vote in any kind of matters specific to the company and its state of affairs. It primarily is used to frame policies for the company. It is used in matters of taking a crucial decision like whether the company should acquire another company or go for a merger, whether a company should go for a share buy-back, who should be a part of the board of members, who should head the board and other crucial decisions.
- They appear with preemptive rights which further means that the shareholder can refuse or reject any kind of newer shares which the company makes an attempt to issue in the market. The most key aspect where common or voting shares are different than preferred shares is at times of bankruptcy or solvency.
- If the company goes bankrupt it is the preferred shares who have to be paid first by the company by selling off their assets and then whatever is remaining after preferred shareholders are paid, the common shareholders get paid with which in reality is barely anything and very minimum. The other aspect of difference is preferred shareholders get paid dividend by the company which common shareholders or voting shareholder are comparatively paid less or is not guaranteed.
Example of Voting Shares
Let”s take an example of type of shares issued by the internet giant Google. Google has three types of shares which it issues and they are as follows: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The three shares are distinctive in their own ways.
- Class A: These are common shares that Google issues and held by investors who are given the voting rights and thus the power to vote in the company’s policy-making scenarios and also frame the board of directors.
- Class B: B Shares are held only by the founders of the company and have ten times more voting authority as compared to Class A shares. These shares are very limited in numbers and also the persons holding it are only a few. These are not traded among public too
- Class C: They are more of like preferred shares where it is commonly traded among the public and has no voting rights in the company affairs or policy-making scenarios.
- The returns generated from this are proven to be rewarding in terms of capital gains and dividends received.
- The holders of such share can take part in the decision making of the company and its policies.
- They can issue a kind of internal corporate governing methodology through the practice of their voting rights.
- They have a certain degree of freedom to dictate about how the company should be run and who all should be on the board of directors.
- The number of shares one owns is equal to the number of votes and thus their opinion becomes even stronger when they own a massive chunk of the shares.
- Though dividend is not guaranteed they may be issues with some dividend if the company feels like.
- When They are issued the power gets distributed evenly and is just not held by a few people or the owners of the company and his family. It brings about the distribution of ownership and transparency.
- The decision making becomes much more democratic in case of the issue of voting shares and a lot of people get involved.
- The legal liabilities pertaining to the shareholders are limited and restricted.
- The shares are very liquid and can be easily traced.
- They are the last ones to receive compensation at times of bankruptcy since preferred shareholders need to get paid first.
- The dividend they receive is not guaranteed as preferred shareholders need to get paid on a guaranteed basis.
- This is a high-risk associates investment because if the company fails to perform or goes bankrupt because the shareholders have to straightaway part off with their investments.
- Voting shares are limited in numbers and are not issued in huge numbers like the preferred shares so common public to get access to such shares is difficult.
Voting shares have both upsides and downsides to it. On one hand, where the holder enjoys the power to vote and get involved in the crucial decision-making scenarios of the company, on the other hand, there is also high risk involved because once the company gets bankrupt his/her investment can go for a toss. Also, the shares issued in these criteria are limited in numbers so it is very tough to get access to such shares unless one has a stronghold with the management of the company. They play a bigger role in terms of the count of shares because the more the number of shares one holds the number of votes one is allotted with because one share it typically counted here one vote.
This has been a guide to what are voting shares and its meaning. Here we discuss an example of voting shares with advantages, disadvantages, and working. You may learn more about financing from the following articles –