Not everyone who invests these days is a financial expert. Unlike the past when you had to call your broker, make an appointment at the bank, etc.; apps like Wealthsimple have made investing in the stock market an easy and potentially profitable activity for everyday people.
In our InvestMainstreet blog series, we'll be introducing you to some common financial concepts that some newer investors may not be familiar with. We'll kick off our series with a focus on one of the most important aspects of running a publicly traded company: the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
What is an Annual General Meeting (AGM)?
An AGM is a meeting held annually where those who own shares in a company are informed about the direction the company has been taking over the last year, how well the company has performed, and are in some cases (e.g. shareholders whose share class permit voting rights) provided with the opportunity to help direct the future of the company. These votes can include changes to the Board of Directors, how much the company executives are being paid, if shareholders will receive dividends, and who will be auditing the company's financial records. Sometimes a shareholder is unable to attend in person and may choose to vote by proxy, which can be done by mail or by giving another shareholder permission to vote on their behalf.
When are AGMs Held?
The frequency of these meetings is a matter of law, but in some special circumstances, a company may decide to call an Extraordinary General Meeting, usually when a major change is being proposed which requires shareholder approval or during times of crisis.
Why Should you Hold an AGM?
One of the main reasons these meetings are held is for the sake of transparency. Not only do interested parties get to ask questions, but they can also hold company management accountable. In smaller companies, there may be more frequent interaction between the company and its shareholders, but in many large companies, this is the only chance that shareholders have to interact with executives.
What is it like to attend an AGM?
Some AGM's are extravagant affairs, with entertainment and gourmet food provided, while others may be as simple as four people meeting in a lawyer's office. Adding the flair of entertainment can help boost attendance as these can sometimes be long and tedious affairs as the necessary formal processes occur.
Sample AGM Agenda
There are different regulations depending on the type of AGM, but many AGM agendas look very similar. An AGM Agenda might look like this:
1. Call to Order – Chairperson
2. Establish Quorum
3. Comments and Introductions - Chairperson
4. Approval of Agenda
(Review agenda, make corrections, add items and then approve)
5. Review of Previous Annual Meeting Minutes
(Read, amend, approve and file)
6. Financial Report
-Annual financial report – treasurer
7. Committee Annual Reports
8. Executive Director's Report
9. Review Special Resolutions
10. Election of Office
11. Guest Speaker
As you can see, these important meetings may seem a little dry, but they are part of important oversight processes which ensure that a company is run properly and honestly.
Mainstreet Equity Corp. 2021 AGM
Mainstreet's 2021 Annual General Meeting is open to all current shareholders and will be held Friday March 12, 2021 at 1:30pm MST. Due to COVID-19 restrictions it will be held via teleconference with a media release with the results to follow shortly after it ends.