Engaging stakeholders

The Business Times
View From The Top
Published: 27 April 2015

How can companies improve the quality of interaction with shareholders at annual general meetings?
Should shareholders be limited at the AGM to the agenda set by the company? Should there be more avenues, beyond the AGM, for shareholders to engage with the management?

Any organisational change needs to start from the top. A culture of strong investor relations must be cultivated by the management followed by the implementation of best practices to this end. Within the context of the AGM, the management and staff ought to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency where shareholders feel safe and comfortable to express their views. While I certainly understand the need for companies to exercise control over the agenda of the AGM, it would be more progressive for them to conduct the meetings with more flexibility with a view to hearing shareholders out on issues beyond the fixed agenda. I would also advocate that more avenues be created for shareholders to engage with the management. These could be in the form of quarterly meetings with shareholders beyond the yearly AGM as well as opening up other channels of communication.

Ronald Lee
Managing Director
PrimeStaff Management Services Pte Ltd