Number 2 • February 2011
What’s Wrong with the Annual Meeting
And . . . how do we fix it? Hit me with your best idea.
It seems that
no one — management, boards, shareholders — is happy with how annual
meetings are conducted these days.
Annual meetings can be a frustrating and often futile exercise — in meeting
statutory requirements, yes, but not much else as a worthy vehicle for
demonstrating corporate leadership and enhancing shareholder relations.
Thus, the cover story for the first
Directors & Boards issue of 2011 will be: “What’s Wrong with the
Annual Meeting . . . and How to Fix It.” It comes out later this month.
The seed of this idea was planted this past summer when I was a peripheral
participant in a study group looking at
"Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings" — i.e., the pros and
cons of virtual annual meetings and the practices necessary to satisfy the
needs of all parties. This group was organized by a close colleague,
Gary Lutin, through The Shareholder Forum http://www.shareholderforum.com
initiative that he chairs.
The virtual annual meeting will be a dimension of the discussion, and
possibly factor in as a key fix. And there will be other fixes that we
should focus on for recrafting the annual meeting for a coming governance
era of heightened transparency and disclosure.
Perhaps you participated in the survey that we sent last month to our
e-Briefing audience. The results of that survey will be presented in this
Whether you participated in the survey or not, I welcome you to hit me with
your best idea — in 100 words or less — for what could and should be done to
bring the annual meeting of shareholders into the 21st century. Email me at
Depending on editorial space, I will group the responses into a “The e-Briefing
Readers Speak” sidebar piece of the cover story. Do it quickly, because the
article is being wrapped up this first week of February.
And stay tuned. It should make for a lively Q1 issue of
Directors & Boards, just as annual
meeting season is about to blossom.
Jim Kristie is the editor and associate publisher of
Directors & Boards.
Boards e-Briefing is a monthly service of
Directors & Boards. All contents
copyright 2011, MLR Holdings LLC.