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Exercising corporate governance at the annual general meeting

Nicholas Apostolides (Senior Lecturer at the Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 13 April 2010

Abstract

Purpose

Annual general meetings (AGMs) are an essential aspect of corporate governance in the UK, although there is little attempt to monitor the process of accountability evident on the part of the directors. This paper aims to provide an analysis of AGMs and suggest ways of making the event more effective from a stakeholder viewpoint.

Design/methodology/approach

By referring to the original principles of corporate governance laid down by the Cadbury Report onwards, past observation and evaluation have been used to pick out the best and worst practices of over 40 AGMs attended in order to build up a picture of a successful AGM for shareholders and directors alike. Companies are assessed for aspects of best practice relating to their AGMs and the essential elements are discussed.

Findings

A successful AGM should include: a well balanced and independent range of skills and backgrounds on the board, accompanied by fair remuneration and reward schemes for the directors; awareness of long‐term social, community and environmental issues incorporated in corporate social responsibility, alongside the more immediate matters of financial performance; and a real appreciation of the concerns of all stakeholders.

Originality/value

The paper suggests how an AGM might be run to achieve optimal benefit for the parties involved, and is aimed mainly at boards of directors and event organizers to ensure awareness of the key issues.

Keywords

Citation

Apostolides, N. (2010), "Exercising corporate governance at the annual general meeting", Corporate Governance, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 140-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720701011035666

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited