Q1. In September last year, The AFR reported that we were in talks to buy privately owned competitor Angus Knight for hundreds of millions. We quickly shut down the speculation at the time. What did happen last year. Has there been any ownership change at Angus Knight over the past 12 months and are they 1 of our 5 biggest competitors in Australia. Who are our other biggest local competitors?
Answer: not asked, despite a reminder being lodged just before the end.
Q2. How important is the NDIS to our business and do any other countries offer a disability insurance scheme as generous as the NDIS, in terms of per capital spending. NDIS Minister Bill Shorten has been making colourful statements about NDIS cost blow outs due to organised syndicates and shysters exploiting the scheme. Whilst we're obviously a blue chip legitimate operator, have we observed any systematic rorting by competitors or middle men. What reforms do we believe are warranted?
Answer: see video of question being asked, along with further detailed response from Rich Lister CEO.
Q3. APM shares listed in late 2021 after we raised $982 million from public investors at $3.55 a share. There have been very few major floats since, partly reflecting the poor share price performance of APM with the stock currently at $2.21. Investors are down 37.7% or $370 million, excluding dividends. Has Megan given any thought to buying more shares in the company given the stock is so relatively cheap compared with the price investors paid her to buy in when it went public? Is she surprised by the disappointing share price performance?
Answer: the question was edited back but Megan gave a thoughtful answer saying she buys when she can but has to honor promise to keep the free float above 70%. Nev Power also gave a full throated defence of his executive chair, citing Twiggy as another founder chair who delivered value when Nev was on the board.
Q4. Could Simone Blank and the chair comment on board diversity, particularly in relation to geography. How many of our directors live in Perth and are we getting too entwined with the WA Labor Party given that former Premier Mark McGowan and former Treasurer Ben Wyatt are both involved. Are we looking at recruiting any more retired WA politicians and do any of our other directors, including Simone Blank, have ties to political parties?
Answer: see initial response from European resident Simone Blank plus, see these comments on diversity by lead independent director, Nev Power.
Q5. Given that APM shares have performed so poorly relative to the float price, isn't it time that we adopted best practice and moved to having an independent chair, rather than just having Nev Power as our lead independent director. Could Robert Melia comment as to whether this issue is being discussed at board level?
Answer: Robert said it has been discussed and they are comfortable with the current arrangements. See video of exchange via Twitter.
Q5. Does Tim Sullivan think it's a little strange to have the company secretary, who is not a director, chairing the AGM debate. Why isn't Nev Power doing this given that he is lead independent director. Also will Tim support a change in practice next year to disclose the proxies to the ASX along with the formal addresses? Will you also publish a full archive copy of the AGM webcast on your website so that the thousands of shareholders who missed the meeting live can catch up with the debate later?
Answer: Chicago-resident Tim, a smooth private equity executive, said he thought it was quite normal for the company secretary to chair the business of the meeting. The Co Sec himself said a webcast would be provided and they'd look at early disclosure of the proxies. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.
Q6. There was a 26m share vote against Tim's re-election, the highest of the 4 candidates today. Do we know what the issue was? Did any proxy advisers recommend against his re-election?
Answer: Nev Power didn't seem to know what was going on but the company secretary and acting chair said some proxy advisers just oppose any non-independent director up for election. Watch video of exchange via Twitter.
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