Ian Guider: AGMs are now more of a day wasted than a day out

Agms used to be an opportunity for retail shareholders to have their say and be treated to a nice lunch. Now, hardly anyone turns up. Is it time to make the virtual meeting the default option?

Albert Manifold, chief executive, CRH, at the company’s agm in Dun Laoghaire’s Royal Marine Hotel in April 2018. Picture: Bryan Meade

On a crisp Thursday morning in late April, a slow trickle of people made their way into the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire. Once inside, they were ushered towards the large ballroom, which was set out with several hundred seats facing a small stage surrounded by giant blue TV screens. As the minutes ticked towards 11am, it was clear most of the seats would remain unoccupied. An upstairs overflow area was eerily empty.

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