2023 Focus Issues

Improving the investment landscape for retail investors isn’t just an objective, it’s a commitment we take seriously. Through targeted advocacy and proactive engagement, we strive to cultivate an investment environment where retail investors can truly thrive. ASA focus issues applicable to the 2023 financial year are:

ASA Voting Guidelines

Fair treatment of shareholders

We expect retail shareholders should receive fair and equitable treatment in all capital raisings. We also expect companies to respect shareholder preferences when distributing communications.

We advocate for the modernisation of shareholder meetings through a hybrid format, which empowers both physical and online participation, allowing more voices to be heard and recognised.

Building better oversight - directors and boards

Boards should comprise directors with the diverse skills as required to fulfill the company’s strategic plan. The required skills and accredited skills attributed to each director should be communicated in a board skills matrix which supports the shareholders’ decisions on voting for a director’s election or re-election.

Each director’s workload should allow the director to devote adequate time and attention to the role and company, allowing both the formal and informal requirements to be adequately met. We expect boards will oversee the company identifying, managing and communicating to shareholders on cyber- and data-risk, as well as developing an appropriate and resilient culture within the company.

Driving sustainable practices and improving ESG strategy

We expect companies to incorporate sustainability and ESG strategy, practice and reporting in an appropriate, effective way using a recognised standard such as Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures or Global Reporting Initiative. 

We review the companies we monitor in regards to resource efficiency, greenwashing avoidance, and the impact of remuneration plans on cultivating a genuinely sustainable culture.

Advocating for transparent remuneration

A company’s remuneration report should be transparent and understandable for retail investors with a logical relationship between rewards and financial performance and corporate governance. ASA will refer to benchmarks to assess whether the amount and structure is reasonable compared to similar companies.

ASA prefer hurdles that measure long-term performance over at least four years.

For further information, please consult the ASA voting guidelines.

Last updated May 2023

Policy & Positions

At ASA, our enduring commitment is to the equitable treatment of all shareholders.Members who wish to raise policy issues, please direct your inquiry to share@asa.asn.au with the subject line ‘Policy & Advocacy.’

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Focus Issues, Policy, & Voting Guidelines

Voting & Engagement Guidelines

Guided by the foundational principles outlined in our Voting and Engagement Guidelines, the Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) serves as a vigilant advocate for corporate governance and investor rights. These guidelines are the bedrock of our comprehensive company monitoring efforts and advocacy initiatives, encapsulating member expectations for exemplary investment performance, ethical director conduct, and corporate governance standards.

When it comes to our voting intentions, ASA will exercise its open proxies on various resolutions at corporate meetings, and ensure they are directly aligned with our established voting and engagement guidelines.

ASA voting guidelines 2023/24

For additional information about ASA’s position on policy issues see Policy & Positions

For selected definitions relating to investment and the guidelines, please refer to our investment Glossary