Interactive Investor

Older armchair warriors lead the way on AGM votes

26th July 2021 09:54

Jemma Jackson from interactive investor

As investors get older, it seems there’s more of an appetite to vote on big boardroom issues, ii research finds.

In the first half of 2021, just under a fifth (19%) of interactive investor customers were registered to vote on the investment platform.

As the UK’s second-largest investment platform for DIY investors, this data suggests that investors are either unconvinced or unaware of the power of their collective voice. Or, they just don’t know they have the option to vote – something ii is keen to raise awareness of.

But willingness to vote increases with age, and research from interactive investor suggests there is a large army of older armchair warriors making their voices heard.

Some 34% of the over-65’s are registered to vote, gradually reducing to 24% (55-64yrs), 21% (45-54yrs), 12% (35-44 yrs), 5% (25-34yr olds) and 2% (18-24yr olds).

Overall, in the first half of the year, just 11% of customers registered to vote did so.

Lee Wild, Head of Equity Strategy, interactive investor, says: “As investors get older, and investment pots hopefully larger, it seems there’s more of an appetite to vote on the big boardroom issues. They can have a direct impact on our wealth, after all – and potentially also the planet, as this year’s AGMs have shown.

Unilever (LSE:ULVR)’s climate proposals at its AGM on 5 May, including emission reduction targets, is a case in point, with the company the 10th most voted share on our platform in the first half of the year, although the results were not binding. BP (LSE:BP.)’s climate targets, put under the microscope by an activist investor at its May AGM, is another example, with the company the third most voted share on the ii platform.

“Looking at the most voted shares in the first half of the year, investors have engaged on some of the big boardroom bust-ups when it comes to pay. Take AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN), at number 6, which received a bloody nose at its May AGM after 40% of shareholders voted against proposals to significantly improve both boardroom pay and bonuses.

GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK), in at number 3 as most voted company on our platform, had to convince investors of its future strategy in the first half of the year. There’s lots to think about here for investors. Platforms need to be talking more about this. Investors don’t have to vote – but we would like them to at least give themselves the option.”

Most voted stocks on the interactive investor platform in H1 2021

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