Bringing the AGM to the 21st Century: Blockchain and Smart Contracting Tech for Shareholder Involvement
31 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 2017
The AGM is often considered to play an important role in direct shareholder monitoring of directors and corporate blockholders. However, its practical functioning suffers from large obstacles. In this research we outline the AGM’s flaws and argue that blockchain technology can bring this yearly classical gathering to the 21st century. Using a blockchain that records shareholder voting on a private ledger, shareholder decision-making can be faster and cheaper. Once a voting item is placed in the blockchain, shareholders are notified and can exercise their tokenized voting rights. When a majority is reached, the voting outcome becomes immutable and verifiable. This state-of-the-art decentralized form of ‘meetings of and with shareholders’ offers large advantages: faster decision-making in a decentral environment and substantially reduced voting and meeting organizing costs, which can enhance shareholders’ willingness to participate.
Keywords: Annual general meeting, corporate voting, blockchain, smart contracts, corporate governance, innovation
JEL Classification: K12, K20, K22, G34, L22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation