Proxy Voting in the Digital Age
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Do you own stock in a company that is holding its annual shareholders' meeting this spring at a place or time that doesn't fit your schedule? Visit the investor relations page of the company's Web site and see if it will be webcasting the event. If not, fire off an email complaint to the firm's investor relations contact or take to your favorite social media network to demand a webcast.
The Securities and Exchange Commission currently doesn't require companies to webcast their annual meetings, but many public companies are doing this, and all of them should. In the digital age, there is no reason why shareholders should have to be physically present at their company's annual meetings to monitor what goes on and participate.
Last week, I wrote about the importance of the annual shareholders' meeting for investors trying to make intelligent decisions about where to allocate their capital. Now, let's look at how the rise of the Internet is making these meetings more accessible, and why that's a good thing.
The proliferation of the webcast is the obvious place to start, but this development has a long way to go. Some companies are still not webcasting their annual shareholders' meetings, and many that are only make a live stream available when they should be archiving the recording on their Web site so people can listen whenever and wherever they want.