Two Unsatisfactory AGMs

This week I attended two Annual General Meetings – or at least attempted to do so. The first was of Ideagen (IDEA) an AIM company.

This was an “electronic” AGM with no physical attendance, held on the Lumiagm platform. I tried to log in with the Shareholder Reference Number given on my dividend certificates (I am on the share register) but it rejected it. Apparently the prefix needed to be ignored.

I contacted the support email address but by the time I got an answer the meeting was over – it seemed to last all of 5 minutes. They clearly should have provided clearer instructions. The company did send me a recording of the meeting but there seemed to be no shareholder questions which explains why the meeting was over in record time.

But the next day the votes cast at the meeting were reported and they received 63% of votes cast against the remuneration resolution with this comment added: “With respect to Resolution 4, the Company is aware that these votes against are in relation to the Company’s Long Term Incentive Plan (“LTIP”). The Company believes that the structure of the LTIP is in the best interests of all stakeholders and is fully aligned with shareholders’ interests”.

The directors would have been aware of the proxy counts before the meeting so it would have been helpful to have commented on this issue at the event. As it stands, a bland rebuttal of the obvious concerns of a large proportion of shareholders I do not find acceptable.

The second AGM I attended was that of City of London Investment Trust (CTY). I commented on this company when they published their Annual Report earlier this month. My view on the company has not changed from attending the AGM. Too much emphasis on maintaining the dividend record by investing in high dividend paying companies rather than looking at total return.

This was a hybrid AGM with attendees both present in person and electronically. I attended electronically via Zoom.

The initial words of the Chairman could not be heard and when it came to questions from the physically present attendees, he did not repeat the questions so I could not hear them – only his answers. So this was another unsatisfactory meeting in terms of electronic attendance.

Not all hybrid or electronic meetings are defective but a high proportion are in one way or another. Companies clearly have a lot to learn about how to run such meetings properly.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson  )

You can “follow” this blog by clicking on the bottom right in most browsers or by using the Contact page to send us a message requesting. You will then receive an email alerting you to new posts as they are added.

Two Unsatisfactory AGMs

This week I attended two Annual General Meetings – or at least attempted to do so. The first was of Ideagen (IDEA) an AIM company.

This was an “electronic” AGM with no physical attendance, held on the Lumiagm platform. I tried to log in with the Shareholder Reference Number given on my dividend certificates (I am on the share register) but it rejected it. Apparently the prefix needed to be ignored.

I contacted the support email address but by the time I got an answer the meeting was over – it seemed to last all of 5 minutes. They clearly should have provided clearer instructions. The company did send me a recording of the meeting but there seemed to be no shareholder questions which explains why the meeting was over in record time.

But the next day the votes cast at the meeting were reported and they received 63% of votes cast against the remuneration resolution with this comment added: “With respect to Resolution 4, the Company is aware that these votes against are in relation to the Company’s Long Term Incentive Plan (“LTIP”). The Company believes that the structure of the LTIP is in the best interests of all stakeholders and is fully aligned with shareholders’ interests”.

The directors would have been aware of the proxy counts before the meeting so it would have been helpful to have commented on this issue at the event. As it stands, a bland rebuttal of the obvious concerns of a large proportion of shareholders I do not find acceptable.

The second AGM I attended was that of City of London Investment Trust (CTY). I commented on this company when they published their Annual Report earlier this month. My view on the company has not changed from attending the AGM. Too much emphasis on maintaining the dividend record by investing in high dividend paying companies rather than looking at total return.

This was a hybrid AGM with attendees both present in person and electronically. I attended electronically via Zoom.

The initial words of the Chairman could not be heard and when it came to questions from the physically present attendees, he did not repeat the questions so I could not hear them – only his answers. So this was another unsatisfactory meeting in terms of electronic attendance.

Not all hybrid or electronic meetings are defective but a high proportion are in one way or another. Companies clearly have a lot to learn about how to run such meetings properly.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson  )

You can “follow” this blog by clicking on the bottom right in most browsers or by using the Contact page to send us a message requesting. You will then receive an email alerting you to new posts as they are added.