Modernising the general meeting

  • Technology is now available to make hybrid meetings a reality.
  • Technology provides options to both issuers and shareholders.
  • Case studies of hybrid meetings show benefits for shareholders and potential reductions in costs to companies and environmental impacts.

Table with microphones

In 2016, Link Administration Holdings Limited (Link Group), S&P/ASX 100, held its first annual general meeting (AGM) as a listed company and used its technology to enable shareholders to participate in the AGM, either in person or online.

Shareholders were able to both vote and ask questions either in person or online using Link Group’s fully integrated platform — this is commonly referred to as a ‘hybrid meeting.’

The statistics evidencing the general decline in shareholder participation at AGMs have been extensively reported.1 Critics of the AGM argue that it is an archaic process that does not reflect advances in technology and the realities of operating in a world of continuous disclosure.2 While this may be true to an extent, the 2016 AGM season demonstrated that not all shareholders see the process as routine and made themselves heard, certainly in relation to remuneration matters and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

So if the AGM is not dead, why not embrace technology and take a new approach to engaging with shareholders and increase accessibility and transparency?

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