ANZ Group (ANZ) 2015 AGM Report

Company/ASX Code : Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)
Venue :
10am CDST, Adelaide Convention Centre
North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia
Monitor : Mr John Whittington
AGM Details / NoM : Thursday 17th December, 2015
# of Attendees : Approximately 800 shareholders plus visitors
# Holdings represented by ASA : 2,100
Value of Proxies : $220.1 million
# Shares Represented by ASA : 8.3 million (greater than 14th largest shareholder)
Market Capitalisation : $77 billion

Meeting dominated by environmental issues not underperformance relative to peers and salaries higher than peers 

2015 was the 180th anniversary of the founding of ANZ and this was highlighted by Chairman David Gonski in his introduction to the meeting identifying the flexibility of the Bank of supporting Australians from an agricultural economy to resources and services economy today and the impact that technologies, in its various forms, has been integral with the Bank’s development and will be increasingly important in the future.

The Bank’s increasing role in Asia and presence in the region was emphasised as “critical to our long term success”. Retiring CEO Mike Smith also highlighted the success of the Bank with its “Super Regional Strategy” with the business now “contributing over 20% of the Bank’s revenue”.

The Chairman also reported that the Bank has made four new commitments in 2015 to encourage an orderly transition to a low carbon economy that included inter alia funding to increase energy efficiency in industry; not to finance any new conventional coal fired power plants; only consider financing new coal-fired power plants that used advanced technology that reduce emission; and strengthened due diligence processes governing lending to coal mining, transportation and power generation.

Notwithstanding these new commitments considerable time was consumed by questions on climate change issues.

ASA voting intentions were in support of all resolutions other than Item 6 that related to the change of the constitution put forward a small number of shareholders. However, we did advise that the ASA support for the remuneration report was at the margin due to the excessive short term incentive payments for KMPs. We were in support of changes made in relation to LTIs, especially discontinuance of using a discounted share price to determine the number of shares offered as incentives, with return to market price of shares at the time of the Board’s decision to offer an incentive, and for the significant reduction in the new CEO package. Accordingly, the remuneration report on this occasion was supported.

Voting outcomes

The remuneration report was supported with 15% of votes cast against the resolution.  Performance rights to new CEO Shayne Elliott was passed as an ordinary resolution (2.7% against) CPS2 buy back scheme resolutions were both passed as ordinary resolutions (less than 1% against).  Re-election of both directors were substantially in favour.

The special resolution for the amendment to the constitution was lost with 89.5% against vote.  A follow up resolution which was dependent upon the passing of that constitutional amendment was not put to the meeting.

This company is monitored by Mr John Whittington. Mr John Worthley attended the AGM in Adelaide on behalf of the ASA.