Dear Sirs,

On behalf of the undersigned international investment institutions, investor trade associations, advisory bodies and concerned individuals, we wish to convey our concerns regarding current parliamentary discussions surrounding the potential introduction of multiple voting rights at Italian listed companies. We also take this opportunity to note the parallel position statements issued by Assogestioni , the International Corporate Governance Network and Studio Legale Trevisan & Associati, and submit the following statement with a view to highlighting our shared objectives on this important matter.


Last June, the Growth Decree introduced by the Italian government in 2014 to reform and restart the economy added a provision that gained scant international notice, but raises serious concerns for minority investors: it enabled listed companies to grant double voting rights to shareholders that have owned their shares for at least two years. These so-called loyalty shares were intended to discourage short-termism by rewarding long-term holders. In fact, however, the experience of France, which has had a type of loyalty shares for years, has demonstrated that it is almost exclusively controlling shareholders that take advantage of this option, by doubling their voting weight at shareholder meetings and effectively preserving their control while halving their economic exposure. For this reason, minority shareholders, i.e. institutional investors, are strongly opposed to loyalty shares. They have taken action today to prevent the Italian government from enshrining them in law by insisting that an exceptional provision to ease their introduction by listed companies be allowed to sunset on January 31st as originally promised.

Under Italian law, a two-thirds majority vote at a special meeting is required for the introduction of loyalty shares. However, a provision inserted last July by the Italian Parliament allowed for such resolutions to pass by a simple majority – which, given low voter turnout, gives a clear advantage to controlling shareholders and makes it much harder for minority investors to block the adoption of rules that erode their fundamental rights to equitable treatment.

While the amendment was originally intended to sunset by January 31st, a House of Deputies Committee has called for its renewal through 31st December 2015, in the hope of easing the approval of multiple voting rights proposals at the next wave of annual meetings in Italy this spring.

The two-thirds majority requirement for special meeting resolutions was among the most effective innovations of the Draghi Law of 1998: in one simple step, Italy met the best international standards in protecting minorities from the risk that the majority holder unilaterally alter shareholders’ rights. Consequently, lowering the quorum required for passing a decision as important as introducing loyalty shares seriously harms minority investors’ interests. Three Italian companies (Astaldi, Campari, and Amplifon), all with majority shareholders, convened meetings last week to take advantage of the lower quorum and won shareholder approval to amend their statutes – a foregone conclusion given their ownership stakes above 50%. With double voting rights, their controlling shareholders have, in effect, gained perpetual control of special meetings, a de facto repeal of the protection that minority shareholders had enjoyed for nearly twenty years: assuming dominant shareholders will be the only ones to double their vote, those that control these three companies will make up two-thirds of the votes in the general meeting, enough to pass any resolution unilaterally.


It is regrettable that the Italian Government and Parliament introduced the exception to the two-thirds majority requirement last summer, but now is an opportunity to rectify the situation by allowing the sunset clause originally due to have taken effect on January 31st to apply as intended. To extend it as per the current House proposal would send a negative signal to institutional investors, both domestic and international, and damage Italy’s attractiveness as a destination for the investment capital the country needs. Institutional investors must, as in all other developed capital markets, retain their collective veto power on fundamental aspects of the life of controlled companies. They must also be able to continue to rely on the protections long afforded by law that are essential to enable transparent and accountable corporate practice.

We therefore urge the Italian Government and Parliament to disallow the temporary extension of the lower quorum for the introduction of loyalty shares and demonstrate their commitment to the fair treatment for all investors. This, in turn, can help encourage the flow of investments into the Italian stock market and broaden the ability of Italian companies to access sources of finance other than bank loans. The credibility and attractiveness of the Italian stock market depend on their clear and unambiguous support for fair treatment of minority investors, in line with Italian law.



Academics, Board Directors and other individuals*

1. Pietro Abbadessa, Catholic University of Milan
2. Niccolò Abriani, University of Florence
3. Flavio Acerbi, Paul Hastings Law Firm
4. Alberto Alesina, Harvard University
5. Jesus Alfaro, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
6. Carlo Amatucci, University of Naples Federico II
7. Livia Amidani Aliberti, INED at LVenture Group S.p.A.
8. Luca Anderlini Georgetown University and Non-Executive Director, Enel Green Power S.p.A.
9. Andrea Angelillis, Bird&Bird
10. Filippo Arata, indipendente
11. Angelo Baglioni, Catholic University of Milan
12. Alessandro Banchi, Independent Non Executive Director, ENEL S.p.A.
13. Francesco Bartolucci, University of Perugia
14. Paolo Benazzo, University of Pavia
15. David Benello, (independent) NED, Telecom Italia
16. Mauro Bini, Bocconi University and Non-Executive Director, Mediobanca S.p.A.
17. Alberto Bisin, New York University
18. Tito Boeri, Bocconi University
19. Andrea Boitani, Catholic University of Milan and Supervisory Board Member, Banca Popolare di Milano
20. Massimo Bordignon, Catholic University of Milan
21. Alberto Borgia, member of the board, AIAF and Fondazione OIV
22. Laura Bottazzi, University of Bologna
23. Salvatore Bragantini, Non-Executive Director, Sabaf S.p.A. e Intek S.p.A.
24. Sabrina Bruno, University of Calabria and Non-Executive Director, SNAM S.p.A.
25. Cesare Calari, Wolfensohn Fund Management and former Vice President, The World Bank
26. Vincenzo Cariello, Catholic University of Milan
27. Lucia Calvosa, University of Pisa and Non-Executive Director, Telecom Italia S.p.A.
28. Rosalba Casiraghi, Non-Executive Director, Intesa San Paolo S.p.A. and Recordati S.p.A.
29. Marco Cecchi de’ Rossi, Non Executive Director, Dagong Europe Credit Rating
30. Francesca Cornelli, London Business School and Non-Executive Director, Telecom Italia S.p.A. and Cofide S.p.A.
31. Renzo Costi, University of Bologna, lawyer
32. Mauro Crescenzio, indipendente
33. Gianni Crespi, Non-Executive Director, Basic Net S.p.A.
34. Roberto Cugnasco, University of Bologna, University of Roma Tor Vergata
35. Luca Dal Fabbro, Chairman of the Board, Domotecnica S.p.A.
36. Valentino Dardanoni, University of Palermo
37. Francesco Daveri, University of Parma
38. Franco Debenedetti, Istituto Bruno Leoni and Non-Executive Director, CIR S.p.A. and Piaggio S.p.A.
39. Daniela Del Boca, Collegio Carlo Alberto
40. Alessandro De Nicola, Adam Smith Society and Non-Executive Director, Finmeccanica S.p.A. and Amundi SGR
41. Francesco Denozza, University of Milan
42. Vito Di Battista, Nedcommunity
43. Carolyn Dittmeier, LUISS University
44. Angelo Dringoli, University of Siena, Non-Executive Directory Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
45. Luca Enriques, University of Oxford
46. Mara Faccio, Purdue University
47. Francesco Fallacara, Statutory auditor
48. Marco Fantoni, Member of Corporate Governance of Listed Company Committee of ODCEC of Milan
49. Augusto Fantozzi, Fantozzi & Associati 
50. Carlo Favero, Bocconi University
51. Giovanni Figà Talamanca, University of Rome Tor Vergata
52. Simone Filippetti, journalist
53. Nadia Fontana, Independent
54. Mario Forni, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
55. Luigi Alberto Franzoni, University of Bologna
56. Dario Frigerio, Non-Executive Director, Finmeccanica S.p.A., Poste Vita S.p.A. and Sogefi S.p.A.
57. Marzio Galeotti, University of Milan
58. Paolo Gaggero, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
59. ALberto Gallarati, University of Turin
60. Giuseppe Gargiulo, Studio Consulenza Tributaria e Societaria
61. Pietro Garibaldi, University of Turin
62. Corrado Gatti, University of Rome La Sapienza
63. Matteo Gatti, Rutgers School of Law, Newark
64. Federico Ghezzi, Bocconi University
65. Arrigo Giacomelli, DFA – Studio Legale Associato
66. Francesco Giavazzi, Bocconi University
67. Nicola Gennaioli, Bocconi University
68. Gaia Giorgio Fedi, independent
69. Paolo Giudici, Free University of Bozen
70. Pamela Giustinelli, University of Michigan
71. Francesco Gori, Non-Executive Director, SNAM S.p.A.
72. Pietro Guindani, Board Member
73. Luigi Guiso, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance
74. Guido Guzzetti, Director, SAIPEM S.p.A.
75. Tullio Jappelli, University of Naples Federico II
76. Daria Langosco, Revistudio
77. Alessandro Leipold, Chief Economist, Lisbon Council, and former Acting Director, European Department, IMF
78. Mario Libertini, University of Rome La Sapienza
79. Marco Liera, YouInvest SpA – Investor Education
80. Francesco Lippi, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance
81. Karina Litvack, Non-Executive Director, Eni S.p.A.
82. Alessandro Lorenzi, Non-Executive Director, Eni S.p.A.
83. Elisabetta Magistretti, Non executive independent director
84. Demetrio Maltese, Bocconi University
85. Giulio Maraspin, Private investor
86. Alberto Mazzoni, Catholic University of Milan
87. Andrea Melis, University of Cagliari
88. Giorgio Meo, Universitas Mercatorum
89. Enrico Moretti, University of California Berkeley
90. Gian Domenico Mosco, LUISS University
91.. Federico M. Mucciarelli, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
92. Annapaola Negri-Clementi, Consigliere indipendente di Aedes SPA e di Bnp Sgr SPA
93. Mario Notari, Boccony University
94. Antonio Nuzzo, LUISS University
95. Elisabetta Oliveri, Non-Executive Director, SNAM S.p.A.
96. Marco Onado, Bocconi University
97. Tiziano Onesti, Roma Tre University and Non Executive Director, Gruppo Editoriale l’Espresso S.p.A.
98. Alessio M. Pacces, Erasmus University Rotterdam
99. Marco Pagano, University of Naples Federico II
100. Fausto Panunzi, Bocconi University
101. Alessandro Penati, Quaestio Capital Management SGR
102. Ferdinando Pennarola, Bocconi University
103. Alberto Pera, Avvocato, Consigliere Indipendente
104. Franco Peracchi, University of Rome Tor Vergata
105. Claudio Pines, Independent
106. Michele Polo, Bocconi University
107. Gabriella Porcelli, Senior Counsel, Philip Morris Italia
108. Giuseppe B. Portale, Catholic University of Milan
109. Gaetano Presti, Catholic University of Milan
110. Roberta Provasi, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
111. Dennis van der Putten, Zwitserleven
112. Livio Raimondi, Non- Executive Director, Anima Holding S.p.A.
113. Duccio Regoli, Catholic University of Milan and Non-Executive Director, Mittel S.p.A.
114. Fabio A. Regoli, Regoli e Associati and Non-Executive Director
115. Lucrezia Reichlin, London Business School and Non-Executive Director, Unicredit S.p.A.
116. Andrea Resti, Bocconi University and Supervisory Board Member, UBI Banca
117. Roberto Ricciuti, University of Verona
118. Marco Rigotti, Chairman of the Board of Statutory Auditors, Autogrill S.p.A.
119. Mauro Romano, University of Foggia
120. Stefano Rossi, Purdue University
121. Marina Rubini, Non-Executive Director
122. Riccardo Sabbatini, Independent
123. Paola Sapienza, Northwestern University and Non-Executive Director, Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.
124. Carlo Scarpa, University of Brescia
125. Fabiano Schivardi, Bocconi University
126. Giuliana Scognamiglio, University of Rome La Sapienza
127. Federica Seganti, MIB School of Management and Non-Executive Director, Eurizon Capital SGR
128. Mario Seminerio, Independent
129. Marco S. Spolidoro, Catholic University of Milan
130. Lorenzo Stanghellini, University of Florence
131. Mario Stella Richter, University of Rome Tor Vergata
132. Ferdinando Superti Furga, University of Pavia
133. Annachiara Svelto, Non Executive Director, ENEL S.p.A
134. Guido Tabellini, Bocconi University
135. Mariella Tagliabue, alternate member of the Board of Statutory Auditors, Sorin S.p.A
136. Angelo Taraborrelli, Independent member of the Board, Enel S.p.A
137. Antonio Tullio, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
138. Francesco Vella, University of Bologna
139. Marco Ventoruzzo, Bocconi University
140. Michele Vitali, Advisory Board Member (Transparency International – Italian Chapter)
141. Paolo Zaffaroni, Imperial College
142. Laura Zanetti, Bocconi University
143. Luigi Zingales, Harvard University and Non-Executive Director, Eni S.p.A
144. Andrea Zorzi, University of Venice “Ca’ Foscari”

* All the above signatories support this petition in a strictly personal capacity.

Investment Institutions

1. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, Paul Lee, Head of Corporate Governance
2. AMP Capital, Karin Halliday, Manager, Corporate Governance
3. Amundi Asset Management, Cédric Laverie, Head of Corporate Governance
4. APG Asset Management, Claudia Kruse, Managing Director, Sustainability and Governance
5. Aviva Investors, Steve Waygood , Chief Sustainable Investment Officer
6. BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Michael Herskovich, Head of Corporate Governance
7. F&C Investments, Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, Director, Governance and Sustainable Investment
8. Fidelity Worldwide Investment, Trelawny Williams, Head of Corporate Governance
9. Henderson Global Investors, Antony Marsden, Head of Governance and Responsible Investment
10. ING Investment Management International, Bram Hendriks, Senior Corporate Governance Officer
11. Kames Capital, Stephen Adams, Head of Equities
12. Legal & General Investment Management, Andy Banks, Head of Corporate Governance
13. Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (UK), Cllr Kieran Quinn, Chair
14. PGGM Investments, Gerard Fehrenbach, Attorney at Law, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment
15. Robeco Group, Carola van Lamoen, Head of Governance & Active Ownership
16. RPMI Railpen, Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance
17. Schroders plc, Jessica Ground, Global Head of Stewardship
18. Threadneedle Investments, Iain Richards, Head of Governance and Responsible Investment
19. UBS Global Asset Management, Ian Pitfield, Head of Governance & Stewardship
20. USS Investment Management Ltd, Elizabeth Fernando, Head of Equities
21. Eumedion Corporate Governance Forum*, Rients Abma, Executive Director

*Eumedion is an association of 73 pension funds, asset managers and insurers (see here). The Assets Under Management of Eumedion and those of its members listed individually above have been netted out to avoid double-counting.

Advisors & Consultants

1. Deminor Recovery Services, Erik Bomans, Partner
2. Frontis Governance, Sergio Carbonara, Owner
3. GC Governance Consulting s.r.l., Stefano Modena, Vice President
4. Georgeson, Stefano Marini, CEO, Corporate Advisory – South Europe & Latin America
5. Glass Lewis Europe Ltd., K.T. Rabin, CEO
6. PIRC Ltd, Alan MacDougall, Managing Director
7. Studio Legale Trevisan & Associati, Dario Trevisan, Partner
8. Sustainable Value Investors, Daniela Carosio, Chief Executive
9. The Manifest Voting Agency, Sarah Wilson, Chief Executive


The Appeal is addressed to:

Al Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri
Dott. Matteo Renzi
Palazzo Chigi – Piazza Colonna 370
00187 Roma (Italia)

Al Ministro dell’Economia e delle Finanze
Prof. Pietro Carlo Padoan
Via XX Settembre, 97
00187 Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della CONSOB
Dott. Giuseppe Vegas
Via Giovanni Battista Martini, 3
00198 Roma (Italia)

Al Governatore della Banca d’Italia
Dott. Ignazio Visco
Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Finanze della Camera dei Deputati
On. Daniele Capezzone
Palazzo Montecitorio – Piazza Montecitorio
00186 – Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Attività produttive, Commercio e Turismo della Camera dei Deputati
On. Ettore Guglielmo Epifani
Palazzo Montecitorio – Piazza Montecitorio
00186 – Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Finanze del Senato della Repubblica
On. Sen. Mauro Maria Marino
Palazzo Madama – Piazza Madama
00186 – Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Industria, Commercio e Turismo del Senato della Repubblica
On. Sen. Massimo Mucchetti
Palazzo Madama – Piazza Madama
00186 – Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Affari Costituzionali della Camera dei Deputati
On. Francesco Paolo Sisto
Palazzo Montecitorio – Piazza Montecitorio
00186 – Roma (Italia)

Al Presidente della Commissione Bilancio della Camera dei Deputati
On. Francesco Boccia
Palazzo Montecitorio – Piazza Montecitorio
00186 – Roma (Italia)

All’On. Maino Marchi
Commissione Bilancio della Camera dei Deputati
Palazzo Montecitorio – Piazza Montecitorio
00186 – Roma (Italia)