Edited by Hanne S. Birkmose and Konstantinos Sergakis
Chapter 4: Shareholder engagement duties: the European move beyond stewardship
For a long period of time it was a common belief that shareholders had no duties vis-à-vis the company. As Hoffman put it for the US, ‘shareholders owe the corporation no legal duties’ and are ‘uniquely blessed by the freedom to do what they will with their capital’. Shareholders’ obligations were limited to the fiduciary duties in close companies ‘akin to the duties partners owe to one another’ and to a prohibition on self-dealing by majority shareholders.
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