The Investment Association (IA), whose members manage more than £5.7 trillion ($7.1 trillion) in assets, wrote to index providers FTSE Russell, MSCI Global and S&P Dow Jones Indices late Monday to outline its views on share structures that restrict voting rights and said it wants to ensure that the recent Snap listing does not set a precedent for other companies going forward.
"Investors of all shapes and sizes need to have a voice in how the companies they own are run," said Andrew Ninian, director of stewardship and corporate governance at the Investment Association. "Our members see the governance of investee companies as an integral part of the investment process and believe that only well governed companies will protect and enhance shareholder value over the long-term."
Snap sold $3.4 billion of non-voting shares on the New York Stock Exchange in early March in a deal that was widely- criticised at the time for its treatment of minority investors.
Anne Simpson, director at the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the United States, called Snap 'Junk Equity' and argued that shareholders should have the power to put pressure on companies to change their leadership or remove directors in some egregious situations.
"The idea that shareholders are ruining it for everyone is nonsense," Simpson said earlier this month. "The question is about the fiduciary duty to owners. With no votes, you can't do anything. The whole regulatory regime for the SEC relies on investors to take matters into their own hands and protecting themselves."
The IA agreed, saying investors should always have a voice when it comes to deciding how the companies they own are run. It also wants companies to adhere to the principle of 'One Share-One Vote', which ensures that control of a company is allocated in accordance with overall economic interest and the level of risk borne by investors.
Snap, a digital-messaging-turned-camera company, has never turned a profit since it was established in 2011, but raised billions from venture capital investors over the years, before turning to public markets in 2017.
Snap shares closed 4.7% higher in New York Monday after receiving favorable research coverage from analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report and Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report . Both were organizers behind the Snap IPO.