Brimstone’s AGM sets a picture-perfect example

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Brimstone’s AGM sets a picture-perfect example

Empowerment company goes out of its way to engage its shareholders. More companies should follow suit

Marc Hasenfuss

The AGM of enduring empowerment company Brimstone Investment Corporation – which was founded in the mid-1990s – sets a wonderful example of concerted and convincing shareholder engagement.
The AGM is conveniently held in the evening to allow shareholders who might not normally get the time off work  to attend.
Cognisant of the fact that an AGM is the one time a year shareholders can engage executives, much of the function is aimed to ensure shareholders have ample opportunity to mingle with the top brass before and after formalities.Every single subsidiary and investment – as well as the charities that Brimstone has backed – set up stalls, giving shareholders a clear overview of the company’s basket of investments and well as a business philosophy that has always been tinged with philanthropy.
In fact, it is only the Remgro and PSG AGMs that might challenge Brimstone in attracting such large shareholder numbers. More companies should follow suit, but (sadly) probably won’t.
The one snippet that did emerge from the AGM was that Brimstone might have finally tired of feeding the voracious appetite of short term insurance company Lion of Africa.
Lion is short on critical mass and has battled for sustainable profit traction. It was one of the main reasons Brimstone notched up a R107-million loss from its unlisted subsidiaries (the other being clothing manufacturer House of Monatic).
When asked about the fate of this loss-making subsidiary, Brimstone CEO Mustaq Brey said various options were being looked at. His reassuring parting shot was: “We will set the Lion free.”

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