More fairness and equality for investors worldwide.

Author:Sonder, Claudio
Position:The Shape of Things to Come - Brief Article

GLOBALIZATION HAS PROFOUNDLY changed the way companies operate and meet the needs of their customers. In the next decade, it will increasingly alter how companies relate to their shareholders.

Just as companies are expected to offer a uniform standard of product quality and service to customers around the world, they increasingly will be called upon to give all shareholders the same rights as those in their home country. In the past three years, three European companies, including Celanese AG, have addressed this issue by listing global shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Global shares allow all registered shareholders to participate fully in the corporate governance process by providing the same voting rights and equal status for payment of dividends, attendance at shareholder meetings, and rights offerings, independent from the domicile of the shareholder.

Shareholders globally will be seeking greater access to information. Companies will increasingly be using the Internet as a tool to fulfill their obligations to shareholders and to create greater corporate transparency. The Internet has begun to open annual general meetings and investor forums to shareholders globally and make voting and participation in these meetings possible from...

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