The pandemic has been the ‘catalyst’ for widening AGM participation says Lumi CEO
Virtual AGMs are becoming more normal and the phenomenon is resulting in surging levels of shareholder engagement.
That is according to data released by Lumi, the regtech company.
Lumi’s research found that 90% of AGM’s conducted, or set to be conducted, in 2021, will be fully remote, while 9% will be carried out via some kind of hybrid approach.
The figures represent a dramatic shift as workplace culture has transformed throughout the pandemic.
Figures show that when comparing the first halves of 2020 and 2021, while the same number of people attended AGMs, the amount of messages being sent doubled during H1 2021.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Taylor, CEO of Lumi said: “The format of the AGM has remained relatively unchanged for decades, yet the technology has always been ahead of the curve – but like many of the ways we work, the pandemic has been the catalyst for the world’s largest companies to widen their AGM participation with virtual events. This is a watershed moment when companies are rethinking how all shareholders can be included in important decision making.”
The majority of shareholder meetings occurred between April and June in the UK and US, and as the pandemic impacted the world, they were forced to adapt in order to go ahead as planned.
Taylor added: “While many companies were able to hold virtual meetings in 2020, this did not always replicate the previous in-person experience. For example, some organisations were only able to share an audiocast that shareholders listened to live, some could only send a recording after the event and other meetings were held behind closed doors entirely.”
“With a year to plan ahead, we’re seeing companies running things very differently in 2021 by using technology to build shareholder interactivity as standard. This has allowed shareholders to be more actively involved in their AGMs, asking more questions than ever before.”