Can Online Annual General Meetings Increase Shareholders’ Participation in Corporate Governance?

Financial Management, Forthcoming

44 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2015 Last revised: 4 Nov 2019

See all articles by Huasheng Gao

Huasheng Gao

Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University

Jun Huang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Tianshu Zhang

Formerly Known as Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

Date Written: November 1, 2019

Abstract

We find that annual shareholder meetings conducted online can significantly increase the participation of shareholders, especially minority shareholders. This finding is more evident when the cost of physically attending the annual meeting is higher, and when the firm’s ownership is more dispersed. We further document significant positive stock returns when firms initiate annual online meetings. We also find that such online meetings help improve corporate governance. Overall, we provide evidence that online shareholder meetings provide shareholders a cost-effective way to participate in governance issues.

Keywords: Online annual general meetings; Shareholder participation; Corporate governance

JEL Classification: G30

Suggested Citation

Gao, Huasheng and Huang, Jun and Zhang, Tianshu, Can Online Annual General Meetings Increase Shareholders’ Participation in Corporate Governance? (November 1, 2019). Financial Management, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2689618 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2689618

Huasheng Gao (Contact Author)

Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University ( email )

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China
2165642222 (Phone)
2165642222 (Fax)

Jun Huang

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

No. 777 Guoding Road, Shanghai
Shanghai, 200433
China

Tianshu Zhang

Formerly Known as Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade ( email )

No. 1900, Wenxiang Road
Shanghai, 201620
China

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