Only 47% of respondents to the poll indicated their provider had notified them that they were entitled to vote at an upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) of a firm. This suggests that conventional brokers and investing platforms need to do more to notify investors about their shareholder rights. Just 48% of investors who obtained the proper tools from their broker or investing platform reported receiving information matching what was on the ballot.
“Our survey found that only 38% of retail investors in the US find the current means of voting easily accessible. Once given the correct information and the necessary tools to exercise their shareholder rights are made available, retail investors – no matter the size of their investments – can help push for stronger environmental and social commitments and ensure the companies we invest our money in are being responsibly managed with leadership accounting for all material risks and opportunities,” he added.
Tulipshare’s research also reveals that the US had steadily low turnout for AGMs across all age groups, with 18 to 24 year olds topping the list with a 52% turnout rate, followed by 25 to 34 year olds with 37%, 35 to 44 year olds with 33%, 45 to 54 year olds with 34%, and those over 55 with 41%. Just 31% of respondents who were asked if their votes will matter responded yes, 32% disagreed, and 34% were undecided.
The retail investors who participated most in the AGM (aged 18 to 24) thought their votes would have the most influence (50%) on the company.
Recently, corporate executives, government officials, and a variety of purportedly pro-business advocacy groups have expanded their rhetorical attacks, legislation, and legal actions against ESG investment as a whole. Institutional investors continue to wield enormous influence over whether proposals will be approved at an AGM of a firm, but many of them are voting down shareholder resolutions in favour of backing management choices.