The consultation document has seven key questions that need to be addressed.
Below are the seven key questions plus five additional questions.
Do respondents agree that guidance in this area will help strengthen engagement practices?
If they do not agree that guidance will have that effect, what else do they believe can be introduced to strengthen engagement practices?
Do respondents agree with the need to develop a new conversation. Are there any other considerations that should be included in this new conversation?
Improvements to the process of holding engagement meetings
The Steering Group identified a range of practical measures, which could be taken by both companies and their owners to make meetings more productive for all parties. Appendix E outlines a range of housekeeping measures which, if implemented, would significantly improve the quality of engagement meetings.
Do respondents agree that the measures outlined in Appendix E would significantly improve the quality of engagement meetings, and are there any other steps which could be taken?
Provision of feedback
The Steering Group considered the recommendation that companies and institutional investors should find more ways to seek feedback on the quality of meetings and, over time, use this to identify good stewardship and make improvements to the process. The Steering Group noted that a company’s brokers or other advisers routinely reported back to the executive team following investor presentations, and considered this raised a number of other issues which needed to be addressed (see question 4 under ‘Additional considerations’ below). There remained, however, a first-order question relating to the principle of feedback from investor engagement activities.
Should companies and institutional investors seek feedback on the quality of meetings as an integral part of the engagement experience?
From the dialogues between the Working Party and chairmen, it was possible that direct feedback from investors to the company might lead to more effective engagement rather than receiving such feedback from the company’s brokers or advisers.
Do respondents consider that receiving feedback on meetings directly from investors might lead to more effective engagement compared to receiving the feedback from the company’s brokers or advisers?
The Working Party had also identified the need for companies to be able and willing to provide feedback to investors. The feedback meeting forms outlines a possible format for a company to provide feedback on investor meetings.
Do respondents consider the questionnaire format, and the content, outlined in the feedback meeting forms would constitute an acceptable basis for providing feedback on investor meetings?
Might any other mechanism be used?
If using the questionnaire format, should any content be added (or removed)?
The Steering Group considered that additional thought needed to be given to ways in which good practice engagement could be encouraged, including by addressing some of the following question
Do respondents consider that addressing these key issues will help strengthen good practice engagement?
Do respondents have views on what other mechanisms can be used to encourage good practice engagement?
The Steering Group is firmly of the view that the health of the engagement process is one of the drivers, which increases alignment between a company and its owners, and that transforming the engagement interaction can create value for both parties. It looks forward to analysing the replies to the consultation process in order to be able to identify means by which good practice engagement can be developed.