Macquarie Group (MQG) 2016 AGM Report

Company/ASX Code : Macquarie Group Limited (MQG)
Venue :
Sheraton on the Park (Grand Ballroom)
Elizabeth St
Sydney, New South Wales
Monitor : Mr Peter Metcalf
AGM Details / NoM : Thursday 28th July, 2016
# of Attendees : 173 shareholders plus 137 visitors
# Holdings represented by ASA : 355
Value of Proxies : $31.6 million
# Shares Represented by ASA : 425,000
Market Capitalisation : $24 billion

New AGM format well received

Macquarie presented this year’s meeting in a new format which was warmly received by most shareholders including the ASA. The meeting was opened by the Chairman Peter Warne, who provided the usual overview of performance and was followed by the CEO, who, assisted by some business unit heads from the floor gave an in depth update on operations. Highlights included assurance on a continuation of the group’s conservative capital position (with over $3.5 billion surplus based on the Basel 3 framework) and profit guidance for 2017 which he said would be a similar result to 2016.

The directors standing for re-election addressed the meeting with their credentials and before adjourning the meeting for morning tea, the Chairman displayed the proxy voting results for all items of business. The adjournment of the meeting gave shareholders an opportunity to look at the booths set up to explain some of the company’s lines of business and meet with executives and Board members

Following the adjournment, the Chairman addressed the formal items of business and invited questions from the floor. A time limit on questions would be an improvement here. The ASA raised the quantum issue (the CEO gets circa $20 million) and we were advised by the board that the company benchmarks its quantum to international investment banks.

There was a persistent line of questioning from an interest group on the risks associated with fossil fuel investments and the CEO spent quite some time explaining how the company measures and manages all types of business risks.

There were also a number of questions on political donations which are not favoured by the ASA. The meeting was told that Macquarie’s cash donations, as distinct from contributions for attendance at political events, did not exceed $20,000 and are confined to Australia only, such that Macquarie’s cash political donations were immaterial when compared to the $305,000 spent on political events and functions.

Along with most other shareholders, we supported all items of business. All resolutions were passed by over 99% of the voters except the remuneration report which received which was marginally lower at 98.7%.

This company is monitored by Peter Metcalf, assisted by Allan McAskill. The monitors had a pre-AGM meeting with the Chairman Peter Warne and director Michael Hawker.