Australia’s shareholders are showing company boards how to run meetings in the 21st century.
The Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) is holding a hybrid Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 10, where members can attend physically or online via a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC.
Founder and outgoing director of the ASA’s South Coast discussion group Betty Clarke-Wood said they were leading the way in showing the listed entities – in which its members invest – how to hold a contemporary AGM.
“Members can ask questions of the board and then vote,” Mrs Clarke-Wood said.
“All votes are collated in a poll to ensure the wishes of the larger shareholder base are taken into account, rather than just the shareholders in the room.”
ASA CEO Judith Fox said AGMs were designed in the 19th century, when shareholder numbers were small and attending a physical event was the only way they could ‘eyeball’ company directors.
“Shareholders today are dispersed geographically and often number in thousands. Using participatory technology means no one was disenfranchised if they couldn’t get to the physical event,” Ms Fox said.
“ASA is proud to be the leader in modernising the AGM, which is the forum for individual investors.
“The ASA is the strong, collective voice of retail shareholders. Boards listen when the ASA speaks. We’re encouraging all listed companies to follow our lead and hold a hybrid AGM to ensure the participation of all of their shareholders.”
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