2024 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 2024 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 requested preferences for postal or electronic distribution of communications.

Shareholder meetings should be held in a hybrid format, enabling physical and online participation, allowing more voices to be heard and recognised. Virtual-only meetings are inadequate.

Retail shareholders should be invited to analyst market briefings, and these should be recorded and made available on the company website.

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 each director’s suitably accredited skills should be communicated in a board skills matrix in the company’s Annual Report. The matrix should support the shareholders’ decisions on voting for a director’s election or re-election.

Directors should avoid being overcommitted to multiple boards. Their workload must permit sufficient time and attention to each role, ensuring both the formal and informal requirements to be adequately met.

We expect boards to actively oversee the company’s efforts in identifying, managing, and communicating cyber and data risks to shareholders, as well as developing an appropriate and resilient culture within the company.

Driving sustainable practices and improving ESG strategy

We expect companies to disclose the sustainability and ESG strategy information shareholders require to make investment decisions. We expect companies will be on track to meet the imminent climate disclosure requirements.

We review the companies we monitor in regards to resource efficiency, the prevention of greenwashing, 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, demonstrating a logical relationship between rewards and financial performance and corporate governance. The ASA will assess the reasonableness of the remuneration by comparing it with similar companies.

ASA prefers hurdles for executive remuneration that measure long-term performance over at least four years.

For further information, please consult the ASA voting guidelines.

Last updated May 2024

Policy positions and submissions

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

Effective engagement is the best form of shareholder activism

ASA monitors the performance of most of Australia’s ASX200 companies with a dedicated team of company monitors. These volunteer members meet with company chairs and directors to discuss issues of importance to retail shareholders. in line with ASA’s Voting and engagement guidelines. Company monitors attend AGMs to ask questions and represent our members and retail shareholders.


Become an ASA Monitor

All ASA company monitors are member volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a company monitor, you can find out more about company monitoring in this (member only access) webinar, where Fiona Balzer (Policy & Advocacy Manager, ASA) gives an in-depth introduction to company monitoring, its purpose, the process and focus. Fiona explains the time you’d need to commit, support available and answer some questions you might have.

Please send any expression of interest in joining the team to Fiona by email to policy@asa.asn.au, outlining the nature of your investing experience. We will put you in touch with the Chair of the Company Monitoring Committee in your State (outside the main-AGM season October to December).

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