​With the global pandemic of COVID-19 continuing to impact businesses, there have been ongoing conversations between key industry groups about how AGMs should function with the 'Stay at Home' measures and limit on gatherings of more than two people. The Chartered Governance Institute and other market stakeholders have been exploring alternative solutions to prioritise the public’s safety, whilst still allowing companies to meet their legal obligations and get the necessary shareholder permissions and authorities.
 
As a result, The Chartered Governance Institute has published some revised guidance to help companies who have an AGM coming up. The UK Government has indicated that it will deliver legislation to support these emergency measures on the operation of company general meetings - we will keep you informed when we know more details and in the event that similar measures are being considered in other countries.


When holding your AGM, you can now:

Hold a meeting behind closed doors
You can still hold your meeting. However, the format will need to change to comply with the 'Stay at Home' rules.

You need to make sure you meet the quorum requirements within your Articles, but beyond that, you should keep additional attendees to an absolute minimum.
Turn away shareholders
You can turn away shareholders from your meeting to avoid breaching the rules on public gatherings. You just need to make sure you have the minimum required attendees so your meeting is quorate.

Shareholders should be encouraged to lodge a voting instruction to appoint the Chairman of the meeting before the AGM. You may wish to consider offering a channel for shareholders to raise questions as they would have done at the physical meeting, perhaps via your website or a dedicated email address.
Consider remote participation
Whilst the guidance is silent on using technology to facilitate remote participation (such as holding a hybrid meeting), if you allow it in your Articles, you may wish to consider this.


What is a hybrid meeting?

A hybrid meeting allows your shareholders to participate remotely so they can be fully engaged throughout your meeting. The benefits include:

Flexible

Give shareholders the option of attending your AGM remotely.

Secure

Shareholders are fully authenticated at point of use.

Interactive

Shareholders can ask questions and vote in real-time.

Variety of remote options

Hold your meeting as a webcast with video or use audio and presentation slides. You can also choose whether shareholders can vote remotely or not.

​Get in touch

If you would like to hear more about how we can help you with a hybrid AGM, please contact your Client Manager or fill in the form below:

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Watch our webinar on AGMs

During our webinar on 17 March, we discussed several options that companies could consider in relation to their AGMs during the COVID-19 global pandemic:

1. Delay, postpone or adjourn the meeting
2. Convene the meeting as planned – with some amendments
3. Consider utilising additional technology

The information we covered in the webinar is still relevant, although the new guidance does include some changes, such as being able to hold your meeting behind closed doors.
Watch our webinar