Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: AGMS

Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: AGMS

Article excerpt

- What are they?

The annual general meeting - the clue is in the name. This is your once-a-year chance, even as a small shareholder, to question the company's leadership in public and vote on the retention of board directors. You may also get 'a say on pay', expressing a view on the remuneration of top executives. For as long as most can remember, AGMs have been pretty placid affairs in the great City tradition: a nod here, a raised eyebrow there, but no drama. You turned up, got your free sandwiches and went home again. But change is afoot.

- Where did they come from?

In the pre-corporate governance industry era, when a chap could trust another chap to run a company in the right way, the AGM was a mere formality, if it happened at all. Family and private businesses may not even have bothered. There would have been a nominal signing off of accounts and then a bloody good lunch. As the last century wore on and companies realised that shareholders deserved a modicum of attention, the AGM became a bit more formal and substantial. …

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