Corporate Governance, Shareholder’s Rights (1)

I have attended few shareholder’s meetings (AGMs) in Malaysia.

My general feel is that many, if not most shareholders,
do not uphold their shareholder’s rights.

In the AGMs, many shareholders merely attend to collect gifts, have meals,
become "Yes man" during votings and obstructing critical questions being asked in Q&A sessions. Unjustifiable praises are hailed on the management and Board of Directors even during cases when they should be criticised. Ridiculous questions are being applaused. Good, critical questions (sometimes being raised towards the end after finally getting their turns) are being jeered at.

One important concept is Board of Directors should act in the best interest of shareholders.
Shareholders pay them large sum of director’s fees to take care of shareholders’ interests and to act as check-and-balance for the management team. Need to make sure they do their jobs.

Hopefully this post can shed some lights on Corporate Governance and Shareholder’s Rights.

The Corporate Governance of Listed Companies: A Manual for Investors (from CFA Institute)
PDF file

One of the intangibles to look into a company when investing is Corporate Governance.

A number of studies show strong links between good corporate governance and strong profitability and investment performance (the studies are mentioned in above PDF file).
We need to pay particular attentions to the Board of Directors, Management and Shareowner Rights.

For Board of Directors,
take note of its independence, member qualifications, authority to hire external consultants, terms, related-party transactions and board committees.

For Management, take note of implementations of code of ethics, personal use of company assets and corporate transparency on executive compensation, share-repurchase and price stabilization program.

For shareowner rights, pay attention to shareowner voting and shareowner proposals.

The Manual is a great read !

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