All shareholders were encouraged to attend our annual general meeting held in July 2015, which provided the opportunity to ask questions of the board and chairmen of all board committees. At the meeting, all resolutions were put to a vote on a poll, with the results being published on the company’s website, and on the London and Johannesburg stock exchange news services. As the geographic spread of shareholders inevitably means that they cannot all attend a meeting in the UK, a film and a full transcript of meeting proceedings were published on the company’s website. Similar arrangements are planned for the 2016 annual general meeting.
We maintain a dedicated investor relations function which reports to the Chief Financial Officer. The investor relations team builds and maintains long-term relationships with institutional investors and analysts and, in partnership with our corporate and divisional management teams and within the scope of regulation, gives presentations on group performance and regional businesses and strives to ensure that these are understood across the global equity markets, including in one-to-one meetings with investors. Dialogue on sustainable development and socially responsible investment matters is primarily led by the General Counsel and Corporate Affairs Director and by the Director of Sustainable Development, who have focused on meetings with interested investors and stakeholders.
During June 2015, our 20 largest shareholders (in addition to those represented on the board), and a number of other shareholders within our 50 largest shareholders who had expressed a wish to engage with the Chairman-elect, were invited to meet the Chairman-elect and Group Company Secretary to discuss any governance or other issues which they wished to raise, and the invitations were taken up by many of them. These meetings were intended to provide our major shareholders with the opportunity to meet and get to know our incoming Chairman, and vice versa, and to discuss matters relating to the group.
Following the announcement of AB InBev’s intention to make an offer for SABMiller, we engaged with a large number of our major shareholders to ascertain their perspectives on an offer and the proposed terms, including the price and structure of the offer.
Lastly, institutional and shareholder comments on the annual report are conveyed by the Group Company Secretary to the full board.