A Gastronomic Return on Investment

Alex Webb

ILLUSTRATION BY 731

It’s annual meeting season, a time when investors deal with such heady issues as management succession, executive pay, and corporate social responsibility. For some, it’s also an opportunity for a good meal. That’s especially true in Europe, where many companies lay out a spread that costs a lot more than one share of their stock — all that’s needed to attend. A sampling from last year’s menus.

Dixons Retail

Total cost $17.59

Sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit

Share price $0.29

All prices on day of 2012 meeting

Vodafone

Total cost $39.36

Seafood tapas, lamb navarin, quiche, Cajun potato wedges, tartlets, and îles flottantes

Share price $2.74

Commerzbank

Total cost $47.38

Continental breakfast, pretzels, pork stroganoff, Frankfurt sausages, eggs, tea cakes

Share price $1.91

Fiat

Total cost $73.42

Quiche, crudités, ravioli with potatoes and pesto, chilled veal, caramel panna cotta, red wine

Share price $5.50

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