If you are anything like me, Annual General Meetings do not normally feature as compelling events in your calendar. AGMs are often boring sequences of compliance-oriented voting, with little if any inspirational or aspirational commentary. Most of the time, I give AGMs a wide berth. However, as a new ICGN member, I decided to attend the AGM to hear the discussion, and I'm pleased for the experience. The chairman, Erik Breen ran a good meeting and every resolution was carried.
On first contact, the ICGN feels like 'just another' corporate governance body. However, having listened through the AGM, I was pleasantly surprised to find:
While the ICGN was birthed out of the investor community (53% of the membership today is from this community) to support multi-national investment activity, a trend away from investor dominance is readily apparent. The organisation has a clearly stated goal of reducing the dominance of the investor membership increasing corporate and individual membership.
One minor disappointment was that there was little mention of individual directors during the AGM. Rather, the focus was on the investor/advisor community—indicative language being 'investors', 'advisors' and 'the company'. This led me to wonder about the ICGN's commitment to championing the task of directing and to holding directors accountable for doing their job properly.
The outgoing deputy chairman and finance committee chairman, Frank Curtiss, was recognised for his significant contribution of many years. Anne Simpson received the ICGN Award having been nominated by Sir Adrian Cadbury and Nell Minnow amongst others. This very popular decision was well received by the assembled membership.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.