There were 43 Australian listed companies that failed to notify shareholders about the remuneration report vote that was introduced as part of other company law changes and applied to most firms for the first time in the 2005 AGM season, according to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Jeremy Cooper, ASIC’s deputy chairman, said this was not a good start. Of the companies that failed to notify shareholders about the vote 17 companies volunteered to hold an EGM or conduct a postal vote on the issue once they were made aware that had not complied with the requirement. The remaining 26 companies, which were named by the ASIC, opted to take no corrective action. The ASIC said it had decided not to take any action against companies this year but Cooper said it was unlikely to take the same approach next year.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Chartered Secretaries Australia, following the peak season, found that support for the remuneration vote had increased since its survey in August. It had 73 respondents to its survey of Australia’s top 200 firms and found that 39% had 10% of votes against and 21% had 20% of votes against in respect of the remuneration report vote. According to 40% of respondents companies needed to take notice of the vote against if there was a 10% opposition rate while 48% said a 20% vote against it would mean a company needed to take notice.