DEFINITION of 'Gadfly'

A slang term for an investor who attends the annual shareholders meeting to criticize the corporation's executives. A gadfly addresses many issues for the shareholders, often grilling the management by asking difficult or embarrassing questions.


Named after small insects that bite and annoy livestock, the gadfly looks to irritate a corporation's management until it acts on shareholder concerns. Questions regarding executive compensation or inconvenient annual meeting locations are often brought to light by a gadfly. A gadfly adds value for other shareholders by vocalizing their concerns and inciting action.

  1. Shareholder

    Any person, company or other institution that owns at least one ...
  2. E-Meeting

    A meeting that takes place over an electronic medium rather than ...
  3. Dummy Shareholder

    An entity that holds shares in a public company on behalf of ...
  4. Shareholder Activist

    A person who attempts to use his or her rights as a shareholder ...
  5. Interested Shareholder

    A shareholder or association with beneficial ownership, whether ...
  6. Common Shareholder

    An individual, business or institution that holds common shares ...
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