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Cinq raisons qui expliquent les réticences des administrateurs de sociétés à communiquer avec leurs actionnaires

26 mars 2014

Voici un court article publié par Jennifer Lunde sur le site de Enlight Research qui présente cinq raisons qui peuvent expliquer les réticences des administrateurs de sociétés à communiquer directement avec les actionnaires.

Comment composer avec les tendances qui se dessinent à l’horizon, c’est-à-dire (1) les pressions accrues des investisseurs activistes sur la gouvernance des sociétés et (2) l’attention de plus en plus marquée des entreprises accordée aux questions de gouvernance.

Ci-dessous, un extrait de l’article sur le sujet. Bonne lecture !

5 Reasons Directors are Hesitant to Engage Shareholders     

  1. Stringent corporate regulations: Potential infractions of the SEC’s Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) policyresulting from shareholder engagement can be off-putting for some boards. This policy mandates that all publicly traded companies are prohibited from selectively disclosing information to only certain shareholders.As it can be difficult to ensure that all shareholders are privy to the same information following direct engagements, some directors believe that the risk of violating Regulation FD is too great and likely outweighs any benefits of productive shareholder engagement.
  2. Shareholder-director disconnect: Major discrepancies between what shareholders and directors find appropriate to discuss may create tension and consequently, reduce likelihood of future engagements.For example, a 2013 PwC report revealed that though 91% of investors find company strategy to be at least somewhat appropriate for discussion with the board, only 45% of directors are of the same mindset. Without agreeing on which topics are appropriate and pertinent, interactions can often be unproductive and result in frustration from both perspectives.
  3. Lack of effective methodology: According to Merck & Co. board member Les Brun, the lack of methodology in place to effectively foster interaction has been a primary challenge in increasing shareholder engagement. Given the diversity inherent in companies’ shareholder bases, a comprehensive and tailored approach must be developed and/or easily accessible to engage unique groups. Though emerging platforms like Shareholder-Director Exchange and the ISS’s Governance Exchange may mitigate this challenge, continued development is necessary before these systems become ubiquitous.
  4. Absence of relevant company policy: Nearly half of directors say their boards have no policy addressing communication protocols with stakeholders or have one that isn’t useful. This lapse can lead to confusion as to where responsibility falls between directors and management, and subsequently, miscommunications to shareholders.
  5. Time: To effectively and appropriately engage with multiple shareholder groups, boards must dedicate significant time and resources to produce and execute a well-developed engagement process, and in doing so, will lose valuable time that could have been spent on other activities. As a result, many firms tend to postpone shareholder engagement (and avoid related challenges) until absolutely necessary.

 

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