shareholder objection—CSRA, Conoco
Phillips, Siebel, Symantec and Union
Pacific Railroad—while others overcame
or overlooked shareholder resistance—
Comcast, Duke Energy, Intel, PayPal and
Warner Music Group.
Proponents cite several advantages for
virtual-only shareholder annual meetings.
These start with lower costs, potentially
increasing the number of shareholders
tuning in, and a cost-benefit framework
that stresses that few attend and little
occurs. A related advantage argues that
institutional owners cannot attend all the
meetings where they own stock because
their portfolios are so diversified while
ability to tune-in increases coverage. A
final asserted benefit notes that virtual
annual meetings are not much different
from quarterly conference calls.
Skeptics counter each point, especially
the assertion that the meeting is a mere
formality not worth the cost. As history
suggests, engaged managers and share-
holders have made the meetings produc-
tive. The virtual-only format is unlikely to
produce gains like those from the Gilberts
and Soss pressing managers, or Ben &
Jerry and Warren & Charlie meeting their
shareholders. Poor turnout and banality
are not reasons to abandon the meeting,
but rather rationales to reinvest in it to
realize its historical promise.
Lawrence A. Cunningham is a profes-
sor at George Washington University
and a member of the Financial History
editorial board. Stephanie Cuba is a real
estate consultant in New York City. The
two, husband and wife, are co-editors of
The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories
from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway
Annual Meeting (2018).
The Library of Congress holds volumes
1951 through 1974, but they do not circu-
late; the New York Public Library holds
volumes 1946 through 1968, though at its
off-storage site available only to New York
State residents; and the George Washing-
ton University Law Library holds 1959
through 1979 (other than 1962 and 1971).
They are not widely offered for sale online.
Brooks, John. “Stockholder Season.” The New
Yorker. October 8, 1966.
ENCOURAGING COLLECTING SINCE 1978
No.106 - APRIL 2018
Great Guano... the birth
of the fertilizer industry!
– page 24
Gilbert, John J. and Lewis D. Gilbert. Annual
Reports on Stockholder Activities at Corpo-
ration Meetings. Corporate Democracy Inc.,
annual editions. 1959–1979.
Hardee, Covington. “Book Review of Gilbert &
Gilbert, 14th Annual Report of Stockholders
Activities at Corporation Meetings.” Har-
vard Law Review. 1954.
Logan, Andy. “Hoboken Must Go.” The New
Yorker. March 17, 1951.
Mohn, Tanya. “Shareholder Meetings:
Unearthing the History.” Directors &
Penn, Stanley. “Point of Order.” The Wall
Street Journal. April 8, 1963.
Traflet, Janet and Robert E. Wright. “Queen
of the Corporate Gadflies.” Financial His-
Trillin, Calvin. “New York, Richmond, Detroit,
Thoughts of a Non-Shareholder Whose
Mind Tends to Wander During Meetings.”
The New Yorker. June 3, 1972.
& SHARE SOCIETY
THE JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOND & SHARE SOCIETY
Cepuch, Randy. A Weekend with Warren Buf-
fett and Other Shareholder Meeting Adven-
tures. Basic Books. 2007.
PUTTING FINANCIAL HISTORY IN YOUR HANDS
The International Bond and Share Society has supported collectors of
vintage bonds and shares from all countries since 1978.
For $32, €25 or £20 annually, receive :
Japanese Scripophily Art
– page 21
Joerg Benecke Reminises
– page 10
◆ Three issues a year of our full color 32 page journal Scripophily with news,
in-depth articles, auction reports and more
◆ Membership Directory listing dealers, auction houses and fellow collectors
◆ Members-only part of the Society website, scripophily.org
◆ Breakfast meetings at annual major collector events in New York City,
Washington DC and Antwerp, Belgium
➠ NATIONAL SHOW
➠ FIREMAN BILL ON OHIO
– page 14
For further information contact
– page 31
– page 18
– page 16
– page 12
President US Chapter
116 Parklane Dr.,
San Antonio, TX 78212
USA Philip Atkinson
167 Barnett Wood Lane,
KT21 2LP, UK
Or visit our website - www.scripophily.org
www.MoAF.org | Fall 2018 | FINANCIAL HISTORY 19