Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I need advice

I find my self in need of advice of a legal nature...

The situation is as follows

I'm a shareholder in an extremely large organization. As organizations go, its rather unique in that no single individual is entitled to more than one share - so in that sense its more of a Co-op I suppose, technically all of us have a single vote and equel rights in doing so.

As in all organizations there are various factions here to, people with differing ideologies, convictions, who inevitably jockey around for support in the hope of being elected to the Board. These individuals, and their supporters make numerous promises to the rest of us - better ROI's, all kinds of perks at Company cost etc. which inevitably get forgotten once they are elected. In fact I have the nasty suspicion that the only reason they do so is for the sole purpose of feathering their own nests at the cost of the rest of the shareholders!

For quite sometime now we were asked to grit our teeth and bear the burden of a costly war - you know how aggressive mass marketing is, right? And it was tough, for quite sometime we were actually on bended knee trying to contain the competition which was using faster, almost guerrilla tactics. We prevailed though, hats off to the Board, they got the job done, albeit at a great cost, one which I think though many of the shareholders accepted as required for us to move forward. But now, things seem to be just as bad for so many other reasons, and it seems to me that the Board of Directors are evolving into a Board of Dictators, albeit with the support of some shareholders. The problem lies in the silence of the majority though - who was it who said that "for evil to triumph all it needs is for good people to remain quiet' or something like that?

Fact is I'm not happy with my BOD, I am no longer convinced that they have the shareholders best interests in mind anymore, I'm not convinced that what they do is for our good anymore - dividends are down, and with the cost of living as it is now, every single cent counts, most of the perks they promised are are yet to come, in fact, stuff that we considered to be our rights as shareholders are in fact becoming steadily eroded. Whats worse is that any reasonable objection or question is being increasingly frowned upon and brushed aside with neigh a thought for the shareholders and their hard earned efforts that fund the organization!

Now comes my question: Can I sue them? Can I take legal action against the BOD for failing to deliver, for failing to meet our expectations?

I've tried the other way, at every AGM we have tried, but human nature being human nature there will always be those swayed by the promise of better returns, of growth of increasing wealth just around the corner.... promises if kept I am fine with.

I don't know man...

5 comments:

  1. *sigh*

    really good analogy! but sadly the majority seems to be supportive of the board and the director... what really needs to take place is educating this majority but the faction which is supposed to do that is in really terrible shape and doing a negligible job... as for individual shareholders taking charge and taking legal action, I dunno how feasible that would be, without first educating and getting atleast passive support from the majority of shareholders... :/

    hope I make sense? :)

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  2. @ Chavie: Me thinks that in time to come analogies will probably be the only way left for us to express an opinion! A class action perhaps?

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  3. yep, I'm in! :D but getting the word out and creating shareholder interest is essential for success! :)

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  4. Nice. Perhaps good corporate governance / country governance practice would help ? Minority shareholders don't really have a big SAY on anything. Volume becomes inevitable then, perhaps Sigma can do that?

    Can you sue them ? Not really.

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  5. @ Anonymous: Yeah, Good Governance indeed would be an ideal solution... since of late I've even been contemplating the concept of privatizing Government! It certainly seems to have many positive aspects to it - imagine, a government based upon a performance related system of remuneration!

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