AGM Trends 2019

Fri 27 Sep 2019

Equiniti has published its annual review of trends and developments during the 2019 AGM season.

Welcome to AGM Trends 2019, the annual review of trends and developments during the 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) season compiled by Equiniti’s Registration Services and Company Secretarial teams.

This year we include articles from Boudicca on the growth of shareholder activism, Korn Ferry on investors’ remuneration concerns, an update from the Investment Association on the Public Register and Emperor on how to make the most of your Annual Report.

Corporate governance has continued to be high on the business agenda during the past year. Companies have been reviewing and implementing the provisions of the new UK Corporate Governance Code and new remuneration reporting requirements. The importance of engaging meaningfully with employees, shareholders and the wider community has been recognised and climate change has emerged as perhaps the key challenge for business and government in the foreseeable future.

In addition, companies continue to face uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit. It will be of no surprise to learn that shareholders were looking for sensible executive remuneration outcomes and directors with the time and ability to devote to the company during this time of change.

Note for 2020 AGMs

The matters identified during the year as important to shareholders are those that we believe will continue to be of concern into 2020. These are:

  • Targeting individual directors over independence, time commitment or board composition concerns.
  • Executive remuneration re-balancing particularly in relation to pensions.
  • Environmental and social concerns including impact of business activities on climate change.
  • Focus on length of tenure and independence of the auditor.