Revisiting Shareholder Activism at AGMs: Voting Determinants of Large and Small Shareholders

53 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011

See all articles by Christoph Van der Elst

Christoph Van der Elst

Tilburg Law School; Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Business Law

Date Written: July 16, 2011

Abstract

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

Van der Elst, Christoph, Revisiting Shareholder Activism at AGMs: Voting Determinants of Large and Small Shareholders (July 16, 2011). ECGI - Finance Working Paper No. 311/2011; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 019/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1886865 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1886865

Christoph Van der Elst (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Business Law ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Gent, B-9000
Belgium

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,043
Abstract Views
4,464
rank
20,003
PlumX Metrics