Snap Inc. (SNAP) has come under fire from investor groups concerned about the company's voting structure. According to a Reuters report, a group consisting of large institutional investors has petitioned index providers S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc. to bar Snap (and other companies that share similar voting structures) from being included in indexes run by the providers. Snap, which made its debut in the markets last week, does not allow investors voting rights on company strategy or direction, and its two co-founders retain near-total control of the company's shares. (See also: Two Big Winners in Snap Inc.'s IPO.)

Snap is the first company to offer no voting rights to investors. While Facebook, Inc. (FB) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) also have ownership structures that provide company founders with absolute control, they have reserved Class B shares that enable investors to vote on matters relating to the company. That said, Snap's voting rights structure is part of a recent trend, mostly pioneered by technology companies, of making founders less accountable to the public markets. For example, Facebook and Alphabet have both issued new classes of shares that have no voting rights. Snap's stance has riled institutional investors because they will be unable to have a say in the company's corporate governance even as they own shares in it. (See also: Snap's Investors Needn't Worry About Voting Rights.)

The Reuters report quotes a deputy director from the Council of Institutional Investors, which has more than $20 trillion in assets under management, as saying that Snap is "tapping public markets but giving public shareholders no say." She continues, "What we would like to see at the least for the indexes is to exclude new no-vote companies," she said. Exclusion from indexes could possibly mean that large institutional investors with funds that track such indexes may not purchase the company's shares. (See also: ETF Could Be Tough Going for Snap.)

For its part, Snap has pointed to its independent board as a check against founder excesses. Michael Lynton, company board member, made this point in response to a letter from CII urging Snap to reconsider its voting rights structure. In response to Reuters queries, the director of S&P Dow Jones Indices said that it would not consider Snap for listing until 6 to 12 months and would use that time period to study its voting structure. "'Who votes' is the issue right now?" he told Reuters. (See also: This ETF Rushed to Add the Snap IPO.)

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