The AGM is badly broken

Australia needs new laws around corporate disclosure to save the annual general meeting from being a backward-looking waste of investors’ time.

Annual general meetings are badly broken. As a company director I love the idea of AGMs – rubbing shoulders with shareholders, being held accountable in a face-to-face forum – but the repeated anti-climax of experience suggests that’s mostly a romantic fiction. Virtually no one comes to AGMs and the shareholders who stay away do it rationally. The fact AGMs are not working doesn’t mean we should toss them out. It means we should fix them.

Why shareholders don’t bother coming is, I suggest, because AGMs are crammed full of stuff they’ve already heard and they’re mostly empty of what people really want to know.



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