Joint ownership: Corporate model of the future

by Ephraim Vecina22 Feb 2016
Amid the ever-broadening scope of corporate entities across every sector and the detrimental ecological effects of this reach, an analyst put forward a radical concept that might make companies more sustainable in the near future: joint ownership.
Distributed ownership, which would aim to balance economic health and the human condition, refers to “agile management” in large organizations—that is, governance handled among co-capable peers, not the unwieldy and cost-inefficient hierarchies that characterize most of today’s organizations.
Quoting The Economist, Drew Hansen of Forbes noted: “The central difference lies in ownership: whereas nobody is sure who owns public companies, startups go to great lengths to define who owns what.”
Hansen pointed at financial institutions such as global banks and major lenders, in particular, as the sectors in most need of this change.
“Fund managers at global financial institutions own the majority (70%) of the public stock exchange. These absent owners have no stake in the communities in which the companies operate. Furthermore, management-controlled equity is concentrated in the hands of a select few: the CEO and other senior executives,” Hansen wrote.
As a side benefit of such a set-up, Hansen said that larger organizations will enjoy more opportunities for networking and collaboration with more streamlined ventures that are often at the forefront of innovation.
“I suspect that the most successful companies under this emerging form of capitalism will have less concentrated, more egalitarian ownership structures. They will benefit not only financially but also communally,” Hansen stated.


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