Financial crisis fuels shareholder engagement with boardrooms

SHAREHOLDERS have begun wielding their voting power amid the financial crisis, according to research showing that the number of investors in European firms exercising their voting rights at annual general meetings has risen above 50 per cent.<br /><br />Data from shareholder advisory firm Manifest showed that the number of investors using their votes at firms in Western Europe&rsquo;s main stock indices had risen from 40 per cent in 2006/07 to reach 51 per cent in the year to the end of July.<br /><br />In the UK, voter turnout hit its highest level since 1996, reaching 68 per cent as disgruntled investors aired their grievances.<br /><br />Manifest chief executive Sarah Wilson said the global economic decline had contributed to an increase in voter turnout.