The 2018 season Annual General Meetings were the first under the new reporting system mandated by the Japan FSA. Investors were supposed to disclose how they voted on a company-by-company, line-by-line item basis. What happened?
There were more shareholder proposals than ever on record – 42 in 2018, up from 17 in 2006 – and more failed than ever. Shareholders chose not to sell crossholdings nor unlock hidden value.
It’s easy to get frustrated with the results: not one single CEO with ROEs under 5% for 5 years lost his job with support below 50%. Although none lost the votes, there was a far finer dichotomy in support rates between those with good and poor ROE track records. Scandals and poison pills were clearly punished.
On face value, there has not been much change; the clear majority of investors still voted in line with company management. At the same time, change is coming to corporate Japan, and the percentage of CEOs with 95% of shareholder support dropped to 50%, down from 63% two years ago.
Come to hear this review of the 2018 AGM results from a seasoned equity analyst with strong views on corporate governance.
Frank Packard, Chair
Christopher Wells, Jenifer Rogers, Pieter Franken, Vice Chairs
ACCJ Alternative Investment Committee
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