This submission is in response to the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee discussion paper on the future of the AGM and shareholder engagement.
The submission argues that while the AGM has become a less utilised channel, it remains an important channel for many shareholders. In the absence of an alternative to the AGM that is compelling to companies, their boards and shareholders, the BCA does not see a case for abolishing the AGM at this time.
The submission warns against prescriptive regulatory approaches and calls for the maintenance of the flexibility for companies to adapt their methods of engagement according to individual circumstances and the needs of their shareholders. The submission also:
- supports the removal of the rule allowing 100 members to call a general meeting of a company under section 249D of the Corporations Act
- supports the consideration of appropriate statutory safe harbours for forward-looking statements in annual reports
- argues that there is considerable scope to simplify regulatory requirements in relation to remuneration reporting to both assist shareholders and reduce the regulatory burden on companies and boards
- supports direct voting, online voting, webcasting and online participation in AGMs, noting that legislative recognition would need to avoid being unnecessarily prescriptive and mandating use of these facilities.