Ci-dessous, l’extrait d’un article très simple sur les devoirs attendus de la part des actionnaires. Si vous avez décidé d’investir dans une entreprise, vous possédez une part de la propriété de celle-ci !
Il est donc important de lire la documentation fournie par le conseil d’administration et par la direction de l’entreprise afin de vous former une opinion sur sa gouvernance, et vous devriez vous faire un devoir d’exercer vos droits de votes.
L’article récemment publié par The Canadian Press saura-t-il éveiller chez vous le sens de la responsabilité de l’actionnaire ? En ce qui me concerne, j’ai décidé, il y a quelques années, de me faire un devoir de lire les documents préparatoires à l’AGA et de voter, par la poste, sur les items de l’ordre du jour qui sollicitent l’assentiment des actionnaires.
Documents sent to shareholders ahead of the meeting can include the management proxy circular, annual information form and the company’s annual report. The information form and annual report give the financial statements and an update by management on the business and the direction for the company — both key documents for shareholders.
The proxy circular includes information related to the annual meeting, including the nominees for the board of directors and the appointment of the auditors. It can also include shareholder proposals or major changes at the company that require shareholder approval.
Eleanor Farrell, director of the Office of the Investor at the Ontario Securities Commission, says shareholders have the right to vote on matters that affect the company, including the election of the board of directors. “That is a very important governance piece for the company,” Farrell says.
“The board is the one that approves the strategic plan. It sets the direction of the company. They appoint the CEO, they evaluate the CEO and they also approve the compensation plan.” Farrell says if shareholders don’t approve of a nominated director they can withhold their vote and, at most large companies, if a majority of the votes cast withhold a vote for a particular director, that director would be forced to step aside.
“Shareholders in the last few years have certainly become and gotten a lot more powerful and a lot more powers, I would say,” Farrell said. “Corporate governance has been a very big concern for institutional investors, certainly, and companies are much more concerned about corporate governance.”
The information circulars also include detailed descriptions about how much the company’s directors receive in compensation and what the senior executives are paid in salary, shares or options, as well as the size of their bonuses and the value of any other perks. The circular will also include how the board arrived at that compensation as well as comparisons with previous years. Certain provisions, such as how much a chief executive will receive if the company is taken over or if they are let go, are also often included.