finally carved out some time last week to attend three company AGMs! And it has been quite an educational experience, going for the first one with CA, second one by myself, and the third with KH …
The first AGM (Suntec Reit) was “a good AGM” according to CA, and after attending all three AGMs, I now know what he means … it is about the “quality” of the questions posed, especially with regards to the financial statements (i.e. resolution 1).
In contrast, the second AGM (Noble) was marked by how the chair seemed to be rather “touchy” about certain questions raised (but to be honest, I did not find some questions to be particularly relevant, which was why the chairman did not want to address them e.g. why an email request for hardcopy of the Annual report did not get any response).
Attending the Noble and Keppel Corp AGMs on the same day, I saw the same shareholders … turns out that these are the same “infamous” regulars who raise questions on the AGM circuit over the years, as KH pointed out to me. And some of them provided quite a drama, which made the session quite interesting and entertaining for a first-timer like me, haha!! (e.g. this guy who spoke against giving funds to SIAS because they do not do anything for shareholders, or this lady who “scolded” Keppel Corp Board for the low price they offered to Keppel Land shareholders)
(it was also nice to meet up with an ex-colleague, LH, as well as an ex-JC classmate SK, who raised a good question before Resolution 1 was passed during the Keppel Corp AGM) : )
So, what did I learn from attending the AGMs?
First, a better sense of what these companies are about; second, a chance to see the Board Chairman and CEO, and directors in action (must say Lee Boon Yang was very steady, and Irene Lee was also very good with her response to her “value-added” as director); third, how other people look at the financial statements and question it (probably the most important thing for a serious investor); fourth, how these AGMs are carried out (e.g. standard 15 s ruling for voting for a resolution, using a clicker device); and lastly, the kind of “freebies” provided (e.g. Suntec REIT gave a very nice Bento lunch set, Noble had pastries which quickly ran out, and Keppel Corp gave some NTUC vouchers).
Hope to attend some more in the coming weeks! 🙂