Proxy Statement – Leading up to the Meeting

Business meetings are an integral part of operating in the business world.  Whether it’s a quarterly meeting or one called in special circumstances, few companies can move forward without first holding meetings of various functions.  As an annual meeting approaches, a wide range of different steps will be undertaken to ensure that the decisions made during that meeting are the ones that most feel are best for the company.  One of the most important components that lead into the annual meeting is the proxy statement, and it is not only vital to a company’s operations, but actually required by law.

Basically, a proxy statement is a document that contains a variety of different information on a company and its regular operations.  The Securities Exchange Commission requires any company that publicly sells shares to issue a proxy statement to shareholders since it is central to the operation of the company and can help the shareholders understand not only the basics of the company and its finances, but also to make them aware of any issues that are going to be addressed at the upcoming annual meeting.  In most cases, it facilitates proxy voting by giving shareholders the info they need to inform those at the meeting on what they feel a proper vote will be.

A number of things will be included on a proxy statement.  The compensation amounts of any directors or auditors will be present, along with executive or board compensations.  This may include bonuses, salary, travel expenses, stock option, and other perks that they’ve received.  It also details just who is on the audit committee, background info on the board members and other key executives, and a look at any potential conflicts of interest.  The proxy statement often also includes information on any votes that will be coming up in the annual meeting.

If positions on the board of directors or other factors that will affect the company are to be voted upon at the annual meeting, shareholders will use the proxy statement to determine the best course of action and may even seek assistance from various advisors.  Meetings are obviously important for any business, and the proxy statement ensures that shareholders are as informed as they possibly can be for any vote and that they understand all the various aspects of how the company works.  They’ve been used for years, and despite recent controversy will likely continue to be used for some time.

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