A lot of media attention has been taken up with the first strikes occurring in 2016 – AGL Energy, Boral, Carsales.com, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, CSL, Goodman Group, Spark Infrastructure, Woodside Petroleum – yet the suggestion of some kind of shareholder revolt in 2016 merits closer examination.
If we define ‘strong shareholder support’ as a vote of 90% or more and no resolutions withdrawn from the agenda (where there was a comment to suggest this was due to shareholders’ reaction to the resolution) 50 of the ASX 100 enjoyed strong shareholder support at the 2016 AGM. Leaving to one side the two companies not having an AGM in 2017 (Clydesdale Bank, Graincorp), this indicates 48 of the ASX 100 had a resolution or resolutions attracting shareholder ‘interest’.
So what exactly was the nature of this ‘interest’?
Leaving the eight first-strike AGMs in the ASX 100 to one side for the moment (as the nature of shareholder ‘interest’ is obvious), it was grants of equity to executive (and non-executive) directors, NED fee pool increases, termination benefits and Board-endorsed director elections that were of interest. Yet when put to the AGM (and not withdrawn from consideration), all of these resolutions passed in the ASX 100. This isn’t necessarily the case outside the ASX 100 but, in terms of the ASX 100, these resolutions passed. So while there wasn’t strong support of 90% or more, there was still sufficient support for these resolutions.
I've taken the opportunity to review the year in a report. It includes
- summary voting for the ASX 100 for remuneration report
- list of first strike AGMs
- list of second strike AGMs
- Board spill meetings under the two strikes rule during 2016
- themes emerging from shareholder voting
- what lies ahead for 2017, including some thoughts on law reform.
You can download the report via this link on the website (VIEW LINK) or else you can download it below