Revisiting Shareholder Activism at AGMs: Voting Determinants of Large and Small Shareholders
53 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 16, 2011
Using a sample of voting turnouts of annual general meetings of European companies, we document that shareholder voting turnouts are significantly different according to the ownership structure of the company. Different types of shareholder classes show different voting engagements according to the ownership concentration and the ownership structure. The number of directors that stand up for (re)election positively influences voting turnouts. Special resolutions like changes of the articles of associations have no major impact on shareholders’ engagements. Corporate performance and other governance mechanisms do not change shareholder activism measured as voting turnout. These results provide important benchmarks for the current debate of shareholder empowerment. The agenda and hence the role of shareholders should be restructured. The AGM should be used as a strategic governance tool for director elections while the central decision making body should be the board, balancing shareholder primacy with board primacy.
Keywords: general meeting, shareholder voting, management proposals, shareholder activism, attendance
JEL Classification: G32, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation