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In Haste To Go Dutch, Unilever Misjudged Concerns In Brexit-Bound UK: Analysis

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Unilever's reputation for valuing all stakeholders rather than just shareholders boosted its corporate governance credentials, but landed the consumer goods firm in trouble when it tried to move its headquarters from London.

A growing list of British institutional refuseniks and the prospect of a retail investor rebellion in the context of Britain's planned exit from the European Union prompted the company to reverse course and ditch the plan on Friday, three weeks before it was to be voted on.

Interviews with UK shareholders, advisors and analysts paint a picture of Unilever as either miscalculating the level of dissent to becoming a single corporate entity headquartered in the Netherlands, or dismissing it in the interests of a broader vision they were convinced was right.

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