Best practice in AGM transparency

January 11, 2023

This list tracks companies which have a history of adopting best practice in AGM transparency, both in how the AGM is delivered to maximise use of technology and participation and how comprehensive their online archive of AGM activity is.

1. Insurance Australia Group: have a comprehensive AGM archive which includes documents back until 2000, AGM transcripts since this first effort in 2003 and webcast archives starting with this effort in 2019. They even began producing this range of shareholders voting report in 2009 which disclosed that 64,924 of the 875,777 shareholders voted at that AGM, which was a very healthy 7.41%. They publish a summary of the pre-AGM questions submitted such as this 6 page effort in 2011. They also come out very early with the key dates such as this ASX announcement on December 10 2019, which disclosed that the 2020 AGM would be held on October 23. The annual report is always published with the full results in August giving investors maximum time to examine the remuneration report ahead of the October AGM. They used Lumi when the pandemic hit for their 2020 virtual AGM and ran a well produced 123 minute meeting. Six directors were involved in the meeting, including all who were up for election and the only minor criticism was that chair Elizabeth Bryan read out the shareholder questions herself, although there was no apparent censorship or editing which chairs sometimes do. They went online again in 2021 and then delivered a hybrid meeting in 2022. The only improvements would come from disclosing the proxy position to the ASX pre-meeting along with the formal addresses like this group of companies and disclosing the voting outcome by both shares and shareholders as others on this list are now doing. At the 2022 hybrid AGM, they also withheld disclosure of the proxy position until after the debate when ASA policy is to do it before hand so questions can be asked if there have been any material protest votes.