21st Century AGM

Introduction

The future of the annual general meeting (AGM) has been a focus of some concern, as declining attendance and voting at AGMs globally has led to questions about whether they are fit for purpose in the 21st century. The Thought Leadership Committee (TLC) of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has prepared this paper and a descriptive video summarising the issues at stake for the various ICSA divisions globally to raise any potential concerns and highlight best practice solutions over time. As you would expect, the law and regulations concerning AGMs, together with accepted market practices, vary among the jurisdictions of the ICSA divisions. Nevertheless, there are common themes in terms of the problems facing the AGM as a vehicle for shareholder engagement, and the solutions that technology can offer to these problems. The paper and video have been developed to spur the debate on the use of technology, particularly around the potential offered by hybrid meetings as a way to get the AGM back on track. ICSA believes that hybrid meetings will:

  • Provide a greater opportunity for all interested shareholders to engage with the company
  • Promote long-term shareholder retention, and
  • Streamline company administrative processes in dealing with shareholders.

These are underlying assumptions throughout this paper.

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