You only need to own one share of a company to attend the annual shareholders’ meeting – technically, less than one share will do, though partial shares are usually hard to come by.
I was reminded of this fundamental right this week by none other than Mike Mayo, legendary bank analyst. Mayo’s firm, CLSA, abruptly shut down their US research business this past week, so Mayo personally bought shares in each company he follows, to ensure that he is able to attend their meetings.
For those of you who know Mayo’s work, you will know that it is often brilliant, always independent, and frequently presented in a candid – some might say blunt – okay, some might say harsh – way. Regardless of your opinion of this particular analyst, or these particular stocks, it’s great to be reminded of fundamental shareholder rights, like attending the annual meeting.
As some of these rights are shrugged off and given away, (as with Snapchat’s massive IPO this week with zero voting rights for public shareholders – zero!), Mayo’s actions reminded me of why we call them “public” companies in the first place.