[text of November 13, 2012 email letter from Alvise Recchi, Chief
Executive Officer of Sodali]
For the fifth year in a row, we are proud to send you a memorandum written
by our Chairman, John Wilcox, anticipating some of the trends for the year
In previous years, Sodali’s Memo has been successful in bringing to the
attention of practitioners concepts such as the convergence of Corporate
Governance and Investor Relations, the role of the Board in communicating
with shareholders and the rise of the so-called “value activism”.
The emergence of factors that are fundamentally reshaping the way in which
companies relate to their shareholders and the persistence of elements of
confrontation, exacerbated by the effects of the financial crisis, is
challenging companies and practitioners to rethink the Annual General
Meeting, to avoid being surprised or forced into a defensive posture or
losing control of the event.
This year, the core ideas are:
Make the annual meeting a marketing event that highlights the company’s
strengths rather than a forum for confrontation with shareholders.
Treat shareholders as customers rather than as enemies, and bring to
shareholder relations the same resources and techniques that are used in
investor relations and marketing.
Define a role for the board of directors in communication with
Beef up the content of explanations for decisions such as compensation,
governance policies and other matters that are red flags for shareholders.
Start preparing early and thoroughly for the AGM by doing benchmarking,
internal analysis of strengths and weaknesses, shareholder surveys and
dialogue with top shareholders and proxy advisors.
We hope that the document contributes to your internal thinking and
reflection over the subject and are available to discuss our findings and
their likely impact on the upcoming Annual Meeting season at your