The voice of the retail shareholder has been growing steadily louder in the past few months. This year we’ve seen global brokerage platforms like BlackRock and eToro introduce proxy voting initiatives that give shareholders a greater say in how companies are run, which is an important step towards wider shareholder democracy.
Allowing all shareholders to have a voice in meetings allows companies to understand the issues shareholders care about and use this to build a stronger shareholder and issuer relationship.
This has never been more necessary. Investor demographics are changing, and the next generation wants to be heard. We've seen a rise in socially conscious and environmentally minded shareholders who want to bring about positive change at the organisations they invest in, particularly younger age groups.
In fact, our research shows that 43% of shareholders want to attend AGMs to ask questions of the executive board, and 42% to voice their ideas on issues they are interested in. Just 29% were interested in influencing dividends, underscoring that shareholders want more than just a return on investment, they want to feel part of the companies they own.
The AGM is a critical opportunity for asset owners to directly engage with companies, providing valuable insight into the real-world impact of the year's corporate activity. Hybrid meetings have the potential to include everyone at annual meetings, empowering shareholder voice, and unlocking corporate democracy to previously unheard groups of investors.
To fully harness the shareholder voice at your hybrid meeting, consider ways attendees can submit questions both as written messages and verbally via virtual microphone technology to cater to all abilities and preferences, as well as ensuring any broadcast and connection is high quality.
Find out more about how we can help you harness the shareholder voice at your next hybrid meeting here.