We argue that a fundamental reason for the short-term perspective of corporate executives is the short-term orientation of shareholders themselves and the financial markets that drive the performance benchmarks of CEOs. Although some shareholders are prepared to take a more long-term view they are generally not rewarded for their loyalty to the company. While lengthening stock option vesting periods and introducing claw-back provisions into CEO compensation contracts help induce a more long-term orientation of CEOs, we argue that it is also necessary to reinforce this more long-term performance-based compensation with a better alignment between shareholders and CEOs horizons. One way of moving towards such an alignment is to introduce L-Shares (or L-shares). These shares provide an additional reward to shareholders that have held on to their shares for a contractually specified period of time, the loyalty period. The reward would be in the form of a warrant giving the right to purchase a pre-determined number of new shares at a pre-specified price and granted to loyal investors at the expiration of the loyalty period. This paper discusses how L-shares can be structured and distributed, how they may be valued and how they affect liquidity and control of the corporation.

Patrick Bolton and Frederic Samama
Working Paper
Publication Date

Full Citation

Bolton, Patrick and Frederic Samama
. L-Shares: Rewarding Long-term Investors. September 01, 2010.