How do we ensure that we understand the views of our shareholders?
As Group Chairman, I am responsible for ensuring that there is effective communication with shareholders. I am in regular contact with institutional shareholders and, in particular, I met with institutional shareholders ahead of the 2011AGM and reported back to the Board on any significant issues that were raised. The Chief Executive, Group Finance Director and Senior Independent Director also had regular contact with shareholders and the Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee met with key shareholders to discuss the Group’s remuneration structure and policy. In addition, all Directors had the opportunity to attend an investor seminar, which was held in June 2011.
During 2011, the Board received an update on the Group’s Investor Relations strategy, which included an update on key market issues raised by our owners, investor relations objectives and activities, share price performance and the share register profile. We also received the results of an investor audit carried out by one of our advisers, which provided an insight into market issues and institutional perceptions of our strategy, management and key issues. In late 2011, the Board also held a session on bank sector valuations, gaining an insight into how the market values banks and the factors influencing the market’s valuation.
How do we engage effectively with our shareholders?
We understand the need to be transparent in our dialogue and communications with our shareholders. We are supportive of the UK Stewardship Code’s aims of improving dialogue between investors and companies and strive to facilitate meaningful engagement with our shareholders. Our interaction with our shareholders falls into three main areas: institutional shareholders, private shareholders and the AGM.General shareholder information can be found .
We have an active and dedicated investor relations team that manages a planned and comprehensive investor relations programme, which facilitates regular access for investors and buy-side and sell-side analysts to senior management, so that they can interact directly on key topics. Overall in 2011, over 400 separate meetings took place between management and investors, at venues in London, Scotland, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Middle East, Japan and China, reflecting the international nature of our investor register. Senior management from across the business also hosted investor and analyst meetings during 2011 including our quarterly reporting presentations and an investor seminar in June 2011. In addition to direct meetings, Barclays also participates in investor conferences intended to provide wider access to investors and analysts and took part in 17 such conferences in 2011. also provides information for our debt investors, including information on our credit ratings, capital ratios, senior and subordinated debt securities, and securitisation and covered bond transactions.
As we have a large private shareholder base, it is impractical to communicate with our private shareholders using the same direct engagement model we follow for our institutional shareholders. Nevertheless, as we understand the need to treat all shareholders fairly, we follow industry best practice in terms of disclosure. To this end, we ensure that all documents produced for investor events are also provided on the investor relations section of our . A wide range of information for all our shareholders can also be found on the site. We also maintain a specific shareholder enquiry line with our registrars for private shareholders to request information. To ensure our registrars continue to provide the highest quality of service to our shareholders, we regularly monitor their operational performance via monthly meetings.
We believe that communicating electronically with our shareholders is beneficial for the environment and lowers costs for the Group. We therefore actively encourage private shareholders to use our e-view service to receive their shareholder documents electronically and to get immediate access to information relating to their personal shareholding and dividend history. Shareholders can . Barclays e-view participants can also change their details and dividend mandates online and receive dividend tax vouchers electronically. We also encourage our private shareholders to hold their shares in Barclays Sharestore, where shares are held electronically in a cost-effective and secure environment.
The 2011 AGM was held on Wednesday 27 April 2011 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. In accordance with best practice, all resolutions were considered on a poll, which was conducted by our registrars and monitored by independent scrutineers. The results, along with proxy votes lodged prior to the meeting, were made available on our website the same day. 63% of the shares in issue were voted and all resolutions were approved.
The Board as a whole is committed to the constructive use of the AGM to meet with shareholders, hear their views and to answer their questions. All Directors are required to attend the AGM and all Directors attended the 2011 AGM, where the Chairmen of the Board Committees and I were available to answer shareholders’ questions. I look forward to meeting you at the 2012 AGM, which will be held on Friday 27 April 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The Notice of Meeting can be found in a separate document. The resolutions will be considered on a poll and the results will be announced via the Regulatory News Service (RNS) and made available on our website on the same day. Copies of the AGM speeches will also be released via RNS and . Shareholders unable to attend the AGM are encouraged to vote in advance of the meeting . They may also submit questions to the Board by writing to Shareholder Relations at the address given above.