The pressure of corporate governance, transparency and increasing private shareholder activism make many Boards groan when it comes to AGM season.
AGMs should be a corporate showcase and an opportunity for recognition of the previous year’s business performance. So what can you do to ensure a positive AGM experience? Here are a few tips:
- Consolidate your Company’s image as open and inclusive.
- Demonstrate engagement with private shareholders.
- Build positive relationships with stakeholders.
- Anticipate emerging issues.
- Optimize effectiveness of the AGM as a corporate brand showcase.
- Deliver tangible results in shareholder satisfaction.
- Maximize communication of annual report/review.
- Maximize the value of the AGM.
Annual general meeting costs can be substantial therefore from a return-on-investment angle the Board must maximize the value of the meeting. Examples of criteria for evaluating value can be:
- Accountability – report on progress made and highlight key points in the annual report.
- Succession – have leaders articulate their vision and state how they intend to serve the stakeholders in the coming year.
- Stakeholder Input – proactively introduce strategic issues for stakeholder input.
- Community Building – celebrate the successes and build a sense of community among the stakeholders. Allow time for networking, award ceremonies, etc.