Virtual Shareholder Meetings: Who Decides How Companies Make Decisions?

(19 November 2003)

Speaker: Professor Elizabeth Boros, Monash University.

Shareholder Activism

(29 July 2003)

Speakers: Stephen Creese, General Counsel, Rio Tinto, Quentin Digby, Partner, Freehills, Associate Professor Geof Stapledon, The University of Melbourne.


Shareholder activism is a highly topical issue. How effective is such activism? What are the challenges for shareholders, companies and their advisors when there is increased focus on shareholder activism? Three well known speakers will discuss this topic.

Stephen Creese will discuss the benefits of a physical meeting of shareholders and consider whether physical meetings of shareholders should be mandated. He will also discuss for whose benefit such meetings are held. He will speak from the practical experience he has as the General Counsel of Rio Tinto Ltd.

Quentin Digby will discuss some recent international developments including the new UK requirement that companies put their executive remuneration policies to an advisory vote of shareholders at each AGM. He will also consider the more sophisticated approach now being adopted by political/social lobby groups in their efforts to requisition meetings and resolutions.

Geof Stapledon will examine significant outcomes and trends in the 2002 AGM season. He will present the results of a detailed study of the 2002 Annual General Meeting Season. Data will be broken down according to company size and resolution type; and on the incidence of "Against" votes on contentious resolutions. Trends across the period 1998 to 2002 will be examined as will issues for consideration going forward.

Ownership and Control of ASX Listed Companies

(3 June 2003)

Speaker: Dr Alan Dignam, University of London, UK.

Continuous Disclosure: The New Regime
(8 April 2003, Sydney and 10 April 2003, Melbourne)

Speakers: Richard Cockburn, Director, Corporate Finance, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, James Gerraty, Manager of Companies, Australian Stock Exchange, Penny Grau, Partner, Clayton Utz, Rod Halstead, Partner, Clayton Utz; Charles Macek, Chairman, IOOF and Non-executive Director, Telstra and Wesfarmers, Charles Rosedale, Partner, Clayton Utz, Gai McGrath, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Perpetual.

Description: In January 2003, ASIC introduced changes to its Listing Rules designed to ensure that the Australian market's disclosure regime remains at the forefront of global exchange practices. Since then, there has been much disquiet in corporate Australia about the ramifications of 'Enhanced Disclosure', in particular the false market rule. How real are the problems for corporate Australia and how do you balance this against an investor's right to know?

This forum will highlight the Listing Rule changes and will discuss whether or not they will successfully achieve their objective of striking the right balance between empowering shareholders and enabling business to operate effectively and efficiently on their behalf.

Corporate Complicity in International Law

(9 April 2003)

Speaker: Professor Celia Wells, University of Cardiff, UK.