One way to use Sharegate is to announce your proxy votes. Far too many retail shareowners just trash their proxies instead of using them. A common misconception is that shareowners should take the Wall Street Walk and sell if they are displeased with any aspect of a company they own. That is like saying you should pack up and move out of the neighborhood if you think there should be a stop sign at the end of the block.
I recently announced on Sharegate how I voted at FactSet Research (FDS), a company I use for investment and proxy research. Do I think the company is great? Yes, and its been named as one of the best companies to work for and investors love their tools. Do I think improvements are needed? Yes, I voted against one of the directors, Joseph Laird. He’s served on the board for over 10 years but still doesn’t own any stock. Does that make sense to you? They might be better off putting me on the board. I use their products and own their stock.
Vote your proxy and then announce your vote on Sharegate. Share why you voted the way you do. Maybe you’ll influence others to do the same. See how I announced my vote at FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS): How I Voted – Proxy Score 80
Sharegate is also a valuable tool for communicating with companies, or it could be if more started using it. For example, I used Sharegate’s “Ask Forum” to try to learn more about corporate governance practices at Reeds, Inc. (REED). Does Reeds have a classified board, plurality requirements for director elections? Can shareowners call a special meeting, act by written consent? What supermajority requirements are in place re M&A or other actions?
No response. So, I escalated using Sharegate.
I used Sharegate’s “Action Forum” to get reactions from other shareowners on a possible proxy proposals at REED. I got valuable feedback, more through e-mail, rather than the forum, but that will change once the forum is used more. Based on the feedback, I modified it slightly and submitted it to REED, again announcing the new version in the Action Forum.
Once the proxy was published, I announced my vote at REED in Sharegate’s General Forum. See Reeds Inc. (REED): The Case for Proxy Access & How I Voted
REED has two directors out of five who own no shares. The company has great products but, from what I can tell, a poor quality board. They aren’t getting the product distributed. I can barely find their wonderful Culture Club Kombucha at any of my normal stops. This is a tasty soda with very few calories, lots of flavor, “healthful beneficial enzymes, probiotics and organic acids that detoxify, energize and balance with nutrition your body craves.” The right board of directors could make a real difference. That’s why I’m asking for change at REED. I hope you will vote with me if you own the stock.
It may take a while before using Sharegate makes a real difference for such activities but I’m sure you can see how powerful the tools are for communicating with companies and communicating with shareowners. With the right tools, your voice can be heard.
Sharegate has the right tools. What it needs is more participants. Sign up for free and tell me what you think.