Setting the pace for the future of AGMs

Will listed companies introduce more innovation into their annual meetings following the first UK PLC to hold a fully electronic AGM?

Af: Stuart Ellen, managing director, Equinty (Abstract by Tina H. Pedersen)

Back in June 2016 the first UK PLC, Jimmy Choo, held a fully electronic annual general meeting. It proved to be a pivotal point as there was an appetite amongst shareholders and the share registrar to work together and provide the necessary innovation and support and thus deliver upon the vision – and in the process achieve a corporate governance first.

It was a positive indicator of a company showing that it listens to its investor base, understands shareholder concerns and does something constructive about it, whilst continuing to encourage shareholder engagement.

According to the Equinty 2016 Savings and Investment Survey, 77% of shareholders (UK) think companies should do more to encourage shareholder engagement, and nearly half of these shareholders said that they would be more inclined to attend an electronic AGM. More than one in five (23%) stated that they do not attend AGMs now but would like to do so in the future.

A third of shareholders claimed to follow all or some of the companies they invest in on social media. So there should clearly be an appetite amongst shareholders for increased digital interaction and shareholder engagement and so the onus is now on companies and their registrars to take the initiative and do more to satisfy this call.

Abstract from article brought in IR Society’s Informed, Autumn edition, written by Stuart Ellen, Equinty