Voting & Engagement Guidelines

Guided by the foundational principles, the Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) serves as a vigilant advocate for corporate governance and investor rights. Our Voting and Engagement 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 exercises 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

ASA’s 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:

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

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.

Why become an ASA Monitor

Becoming a volunteer company monitor for Australian Shareholders’ Association offers the opportunity to actively engage in corporate governance, ensuring companies are accountable to their shareholders. It also provides a unique platform to influence corporate practices while enhancing your own investment knowledge and skills.

All ASA company monitors are member volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming a company monitor, please contact Fiona Balzer by emailing