New York - Big Large US corporations have identified a new strategy for managing irate investors at annual shareholder meetings: Going going virtual. This year, about 250 companies are expected to convene their yearly investor tête-à-tête via audio or video, up from 155 in 2016 and just 26 in 2012, according to investors communications firm Broadridge. The set of companies forgoing the face-to-face encounters includes number-twoUSautomaker Ford,energy giants companies ConocoPhillips and Duke Energy. "We take very seriously the trust that our shareholders place in our leadership team," said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. Duke shareholder Danielle Fugere of the nongovernmental organization organisation As You Sow saidadded: "We do not believe it is in the company’s interest to insulate itself from the interested public." The group has proposed a shareholder resolution to require the company to report on the public health impacts of its use of coal. New Y...

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