This meeting is open to all. You can register here:
You can also submit questions if you wish.
I have submitted a question on behalf of ShareSoc:
ShareSoc, a not for profit independent organisation, dedicated to supporting individual investors, has made a considerable investment in producing an attractive video series, designed to help new investors. Will the FCA help to promote this series, to ensure that the general public is well informed about the basic principles of sound investment practice?
Will you meet with ShareSoc to discuss this?
The videos will shortly be published and will be accessible via https://www.sharesoc.org/investor-academy/
A good, well run AGM is a sign of a good company with a good culture.
The FT earlier this year raised a point about a certain narrative being promoted by some parties, that AGMs are a waste of time. ShareSoc considers this narrative dangerous and contends that it needs to be rebuffed strongly. AGMs have a key role in holding Boards to account. Boards have huge power, and it is very difficult to unseat them or change their focus/priorities.
Fortunately, the FRC is looking at ways of making the AGM more effective. The FRC recently published its new guidance, to which ShareSoc and UKSA have contributed.
ShareSoc’s guidance on asking questions at AGMs
Shareholders are entitled to ask questions. You can make your point firmly but should not be rude.
Shareholders should normally not ask more than 3 questions and should keep them brief and to the point. Complex technical questions are best put in writing before the meeting with a response requested at the meeting.
Shareholders and Chairs should be careful not to bore the audience. Shareholders should note that an AGM is a good place to make one or two key points or questions, to which the board can respond. It is not a place to conduct a debate with the directors or make a long-winded speech.
Standards of publicly acceptable language have fallen in recent years. Words that might be used on Twitter or in the grandstands of a football match should be avoided and are not acceptable in an AGM.
The FCA is not following the FRC guidance
The FCA is not following the FRC AGM Good Practice Guidance, which was published in July 2022. Cliff Weight and Peter Parry were members of the working party that helped develop the new guidance, which goes further than just AGM guidance and covers shareholder engagement throughout the year.
ShareSoc is wary of closed AGMs and entirely virtual AGMs. It is important to be able to meet the directors in person, ask questions and see their non-verbal reactions. Too many bad companies use virtual AGMs to stop dissent and debate.
ShareSoc is holding its 2022 AGM as a virtual meeting for reasons of cost and convenience. The UK Shareholders Association held their AGM in person and had lunch beforehand (cost £45) with a guest speaker (Marcus Stuttard). If members would prefer this type of AGM event, please let us know at info@ShareSoc.org
More info on the FRC Guidance is also available here.
This is an official ShareSoc News Item written by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight.