As a shareholder, you have the power to hold companies to account over environmental and social impacts. If you own shares in a company, you have a voice in how that company operates.
Every year, public companies are required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM). We help lodge shareholder resolutions and assist people to attend AGMs to ask climate-related questions. AGMs are an opportunity for you to speak directly to the decision makers of a company – such as the CEO, chair and board – about important issues like climate change.
A shareholder resolution is a proposal that is presented at the AGM and voted on by all company shareholders. Shareholder resolutions enable concerned shareholders to speak with some of the biggest investors in the world about how your company is addressing climate change, and urge other investors to use their power to improve companies.
Watch the videos below to get an understanding of shareholder resolutions and attending AGMs, or scroll further down to see a timeline of key events leading up to an AGM and frequently asked questions.
JOIN A SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION:
To join a shareholder resolution, or to check which companies we are considering lodging resolutions with, visit the link below:
Learn what it is and why it matters!
What are they? How does Market Forces help amplify your voice?
These are the key things that need to take place in the lead-up to an annual general meeting.
3-4 months before agm
2 months before AGM
The last date we are able to lodge a shareholder resolution is 2 months prior to the date of the AGM. If you want to join a resolution, you will need to complete the agency agreement well before this time. This enables us to have all the paperwork completed so that the resolution can be submitted to the company on time.
1 month before AGM
If you are a shareholder, the company will send you a notice of its upcoming AGM. This will have the date of the AGM and instructions on how to vote on resolutions, and how to attend the AGM or assign a proxy to attend on your behalf.
2 - 3 weeks before AGM
We may email asking if you want to attend the AGM and ask a question or assign a proxy to do so on your behalf. The notice of meeting you received from the company will have all the details.
1 week before AGM
If assigning a proxy to attend an AGM on your behalf, you will need to do this more than a week before the AGM.
Date of the AGM
AGM is held and all resolutions are voted on by all shareholders.
IMPORTANT! if you are participating in a shareholder resolution, you will need to hold your shares until at least the day of the AGM for your contribution to the resolution to be valid. If you join a resolution but sell your shares before the AGM, it may prevent the resolution from being put to a vote!
There are two AGM seasons per year in Australia. A smaller AGM season early in the year, which features roughly a quarter of Australian companies’ AGMs, and the main AGM season from September onwards.
FEBRUARY – MARCH
Lodge resolutions (1st half)
Resolutions need to be lodged for the first half of the year – two months in advance of an annual general meeting.
APRIL – MAY
Mini AGM season
Mini annual general meeting season. Key companies including Santos, Woodside, Oil Search, Rio Tinto, and QBE have their AGMs.
AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
Lodge resolutions (2nd half)
Shareholder resolutions need to be lodged for second half of the year AGMs.
SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER
Main AGM season
Main AGM season in Australia. Hundreds of companies hold their AGM.
Frequently asked questions
Can I join multiple shareholder resolutions?
Yes. You can join as many shareholder resolutions as you like, providing you a valid shareholder of the company in question. Joining a resolution does not cancel out any others you have already joined.
Is it important to vote?
Voting for cliamte-related resolutions is always good, but as many retail investors own a small portion of the company’s total shares, individual shareholder voting is less significant than the votes of big investors like super funds and asset managers. So depending on the number of shares you hold, joining a resolution or attending an AGM are generally much more impactful than voting on resolutions with your individual shares at the AGM.
Even with a small parcel of shares, you can join 99 other people and call on the company to improve its approach to climate change, which makes a major impact. By attending an AGM, or assigning a proxy to attend on your behalf, you can ask the board directly about how they are managing climate change.
Can I join a shareholder resolution if my shares are held via a fund?
If you have a self-managed super fund then you can join a resolution. If someone manages this for you, you will need to follow up and get details from them like what name the shareholding is in, what address the holding is under is and what your HIN/SRN number is. You can see what is required by vising our shareholder resolution page here: https://www.marketforces.org.au/get-involved/shareholder-resolutions/
Does it matter how many shares I have?
For the purposes of joining a resolution or asking a question at an annual general meeting, it does not matter how many shares you have. Whether you have 1 share or 100,000 you are considered one shareholder and can join 99+ other shareholders to propose a resolution, and you can also ask questions at an AGM.
Is joining a resolution different from assigning a proxy?
Yes. You need 100+ people to join a shareholder resolution and you need to lodge it two months ahead of the AGM. Assigning a proxy means that someone can attend an AGM on your behalf and ask a question. This generally happens two weeks before the meeting.
What is the process for attending an annual general meeting or assigning a proxy?
We will send out an email a few weeks before an annual general meeting asking if you want to attend or assign a proxy. If you reply and say you want to assign a proxy we will send you instructions on how to do this online.
Why is there such a long time between when I join a resolution and the AGM?
All resolutions have to be lodged two months in advance of the relevant AGM. We usually ask shareholders to join three to four months in advance so we can reach the required 100 shareholders and complete all the necessary paperwork.
Take action! If you haven’t already, have a look at which companies we’re considering lodging resolutions with and, if you own shares in one or more of these companies, join a resolution:
The information provided by Market Forces does not constitute financial advice. The information is presented in order to inform people motivated by environmental concerns and take actions based on those concerns. Market Forces is organising data for environmental ends.
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