General meetings of issuing companies, once a monthly event, have now become a focal point for corporate decision-making. It is the general opinion of most corporate executives that their companies must set aside time each month to engage in one or more meetings of this nature. What exactly is meant by corporate social responsibility? It is a concept that places a larger significance on the involvement of the business community in the affairs and policies of other companies. These meetings can be attended by senior management or the general managers of individual companies. In addition to addressing company issues, these events also serve as platforms for sharing best practices among company employees and with other business owners.
To understand the concept of social responsibility, it is important to examine the way that the business community normally engages in decision making. Typically, this occurs during a board of directors meeting. There are several key decisions that every company must make throughout the year. Among these decisions are the long range plans and strategies for the company, such as what types of products or services to offer, what products to sell, how to compete in different markets, what to invest in, and how to manage risks. The board of directors generally holds annual general meetings of the company to allow those involved in the company’s various fields of operations to meet and discuss these key issues with one another.
During these general meetings, the company’s management must discuss any issues that may arise regarding the operation of the company. However, it is the company’s senior management that ultimately makes the ultimate decisions regarding those issues. As a result, these meetings provide an opportunity for the senior leaders to engage in informal discussion regarding the day-to-day operations of the company. At the end of the meeting, any issues that were resolved are presented to the stockholders for approval.
At a recent company general meeting, a key issue was brought up regarding a company initiative that would affect the independent directors. A gentleman, who is a director at a large mutual company, brought this up during the Q & A session. According to him, the company had decided to hire an outside director to control the NPA. This board of directors has three members; he felt that having one more independent director would help make the process run smoother.
He said that he thought it would be better for the company to have a non-expert control person rather than an expert because the experts are usually too busy to attend many company meetings. He also expressed concern that the NPA will not be able to handle the issue because the company would be rushing to complete projects that have been started before they have had the time to be reviewed by experts. Another shareholder chimed in and stated that he believed there should be more board members from the local community so that the local people would have a voice. Several people in attendance gave their opinions regarding this issue, stating that there were only a few board members from the local community that attended most of the general meetings of companies they are associated with. They believe it would be beneficial for the NPA to request these companies to send one board member from their community to attend all of the meeting to get more input from the community.
Several companies have asked NPA to stop holding their general meetings in their local area so that they can focus their attention on meeting with stockholders from other states. There have been a couple of companies that have complied with this request. This makes sense for them because it allows them to attend more general meetings and increase their chances to meet with potential stockholders from other parts of the country and throughout the world. It has been reported that several of these companies have met their Indictment deadlines.
One shareholder suggested that the general issues of a company be held at the local meeting of the issuing company and then held at another site sometime later, as the company grows. Several directors have indicated that they would like to see this scenario play out. Others believe that it will be detrimental for the company if the company tries to use meeting facilities to cover up poor issues within the company. This shareholder proposed that if the company is serious about fulfilling its obligations under the FDD and EQ Debt Agreement then they should use the facilities to their advantage and not turn them into a public relations event.
Some companies have already started using the new format and have been successful in their efforts to improve their image. It is believed that the new method has worked well for one company that was fighting issues with the ERP software. The company changed their format so that they could attend all their meetings rather than just some of them. They also made a presentation to the board of directors of their company at each of their general meetings. It appears that the change made a difference in the image of the company.