FTSE 100 companies encouraged to avoid shutting out investors from annual meetings after survey found only a quarter will be held in-person
FTSE 100 companies are being encouraged to avoid shutting out investors from their annual meetings after a survey found only a quarter will be held in-person.
The rest will go hybrid, according to research by responsible investment charity ShareAction, which wrote to the chairs of every FTSE 100 company holding an AGM over the next six months.
Concern: Research indicates that fewer than a quarter of Blue Chip companies meet the minimum bar for hybrid meetings
The issue has been highlighted after ShareAction received responses from some of the 84 companies that were sent the letter.
Research indicates that fewer than a quarter of Blue Chip companies meet the minimum bar for hybrid meetings, which means online participants are unable to ask live oral questions.
Annual meetings give shareholders a chance to table votes on crucial matters that concern a company – with executive pay currently an issue high on the agenda for many investors. There are concerns that some companies may prefer to avoid the close scrutiny that a live event can bring.
ShareAction’s director of corporate engagement Simon Rawson said too many companies are still planning AGMs ‘which limit the space for interaction’. He said: ‘The AGM is the single most important event in the corporate governance calendar.
‘As we head into the 2022 AGM season, workers are facing a cost of living crisis and inequality is rising. Warnings about climate change are clear and the imperative to decarbonise business has never been greater.
‘Companies will succeed by prioritising meaningful dialogue with shareholders and other stakeholders.’