The AGM (annual general meeting) of a company is an annual meeting open to all holders of shares that bring a right to vote at such meetings. This usually means the holders of ordinary shares.
Private companies in the UK are not required to hold an AGM, but public companies (which includes all quoted companies must hold an AGM within six months of their financial year end.
At an AGM shareholders can vote on a number of resolutions. These are usually proposed by the directors, but shareholders with sufficient voting power (alone or in combination) can put forward their own.
The most important resolutions are usually those appointing (or removing) directors. Other important resolutions may include:
- approving directors' remuneration
- authorising the directors to issue allot unissued shares
- authorising purchases of the company's own shares to create holdings of treasury shares or to return capital.
There are also AGM resolutions that are almost always formalities - such as to receive the accounts.
Unfortunately for shareholders, the appointment of directors is also very often a formality.
An AGM also provides an opportunity for shareholders to question the directors. Most listed companies issue most of the information that they intend to disclose through other channels (such as RNS). This means it is rare for any significant new information to be disclosed at an AGM.
Sometimes, such when there are urgent matters to be dealt with that cannot wait for an AGM, it is necessary to call an general meeting.