Drama at HFC Investments General Meeting

Drama unfolded at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of HFC Investments Services Limited in Accra when some shareholders raised issues with the audit report of the auditors of the company and the type of souvenirs distributed by the company to shareholders. It all began with Mr Samuel Adiku, a shareholder who took to his feet to criticize the length of the auditor’s report. “As we sit here, we are here to listen to what will impact the shares we have and not to listen to long reports”, he said with a grin on face while the other shareholders giggled in shock at his observation. As if that was not enough, he continued by saying that the whole presentation could have been summarised into a few paragraphs to save time instead of the auditors, PKF Accountants and Business Advisers, reading what he believed was not relevant to the shareholders. Not even an attempt by the Chief Executive of HFC Bank, Mr Asare Akuffo, to intervene to explain the rationale for the supposed long report could stop Mr Adiku. In the end, he rather raised his voice to conclude saying “All I am saying is that Mr Auditor, your report is too long and boring”. Amidst smiles on his face, Mr F. Bruce-Tagoe who read the auditor’s report explained that the report was presented in accordance with the regulations which insist on giving shareholders more information about their audit. Later when things seemed to be moving normally, another shareholder caught the eye of the chairman of the occasion, Mr Akuffo and when she was handed the microphone, she decided to veer off the financial statement to raise issues about the souvenirs distributed to shareholders at the AGM. “Anytime we come to your AGM, we are given a very long umbrella which does not fit into our bags”, she said amidst laughter from other shareholders and the high table. According to her, smaller umbrellas could do for the ladies at least or something else of value because the umbrellas were becoming too many adding that “for me in particular, I have so many from other banks and companies I attend their AGMs”. This drew more laughter but when Mr Abeka Biney, a popular shareholder in the country took the mic, he rather sought to condemn the lady for expressing her views saying “if you do not like the umbrellas it is not by force, leave it”. The reaction of Mr Biney who had earlier received some applause for his comments on the financial statement, this time, encountered the wrath of his fellow shareholders who this time around booed him. The shareholders murmured that, he had no right to condemn somebody who was speaking her mind. In the end, Mr Akufo stepped in to calm the nerves of all to allow the process to end successfully.