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Shareholders show boards how to modernise AGMs

The Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) is holding a hybrid AGM on 10th May, leading the way in showing the listed entities in which its members invest how to hold a contemporary AGM utilising technology.

A hybrid AGM allows the ASA members to either attend physically or online. Irrespective of whether they are in the same room as the directors of ASA or participating via a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC, the ASA members can ask questions of the board and vote. All votes are collated in a poll with those received earlier as proxies to ensure that the wishes of the larger shareholder base are taken into account, rather than just the shareholders in the room.

“The AGM was designed in the 19th century, when shareholder numbers were small and attending a physical event was the only way that they could ‘eyeball’ the directors of their investee companies and ask questions of them,’ said Judith Fox, CEO of ASA.

“But shareholders today are dispersed geographically and often number in the thousands. Using technology to allow for participation by all shareholders means no one is disenfranchised if they are not able to get to the physical event.”

“ASA is proud to be the leader in modernising the AGM, which is the forum for individual investors,” Ms Fox added. “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.”

Mrs Betty Clarke-Wood, Director and founder of the South Coast Discussion Group comments, “I am really excited about this initiative. It will allow members in our region to participate in the AGM in Brisbane which has never been possible before”. The local group next meets on Tuesday, 9th May at 2pm at Bay Link Centre Community Room, 3 Flora Crescent, Batemans Bay. Further enquiries from Betty Clarke-Wood (0419 393 540) or Bill Radley (0419 612 401).

The Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) is the only independent, member-funded, not-for- profit organisation that educates shareholders to become better investors and focuses on driving improvements in transparency and accountability of corporate behaviour in Australia.


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