New York, NY – Computershare (ASX: CPU), has published a white paper that explores the international trend towards adoption of virtual and hybrid shareholder meetings and the development of best practices for conducting them. The company also recently co-hosted a webinar titled "Making Virtual Meetings a Reality" which included an expert from Institutional Shareholder Services on the panel.
Both the white paper and the webinar explore the benefits and challenges of hosting shareholder meetings fully online ('virtual meetings') or in tandem with an in-person meeting ('hybrid meetings'). With the growing adoption of digital channels for investors to access financial services, the white paper and webinar panellists contend that corporate and shareholder demand for virtual and hybrid meetings will continue to grow. To help ensure that virtual meetings deliver good corporate governance outcomes, companies and shareholders must agree on what constitutes best practices for the conduct of the meeting, including the use of robust and secure technology.
"Technology continues to revolutionize the way we can provide services to our clients," said Paul Conn, president, Global Capital Markets at Computershare. "When combined with effective protocols for managing the meeting, the use of modern technology can improve shareholder engagement and participation and reduce costs in a way that benefits companies and their shareholders alike."
Key highlights from the white paper include:
- The U.S. is leading the charge in adoption of virtual meetings, with the state of Delaware specifically providing a clear right for companies to do so. Other countries where Computershare operates are starting to move towards adoption of virtual and hybrid meetings.
- By removing shareholder travel time and expense, virtual and hybrid meetings may increase shareholder participation in shareholder meetings.
- Virtual meetings can reduce the company's cost of operating the shareholder meeting as well as the investor's cost of attendance.
- It is important that virtual meetings are conducted in a manner that continues to facilitate shareholder interaction with the Board and senior management and that ensures integrity in shareholder voting.
- Transparent and fair meeting 'Q&A' sessions are valued by shareholders as a mechanism to engage with company senior management and are especially important in a virtual or hybrid meeting.
Computershare believes interest in virtual and hybrid meetings will continue to grow across international markets. Continued engagement by companies, investors and service providers, together with market regulators, is needed to ensure increased shareholder participation and engagement in a secure and cost-effective manner. Computershare is committed to working with its clients and all stakeholders to help deliver these benefits.
To listen to a broadcast of the webinar that was hosted in partnership with Lumi and NASDAQ, click here.
To view the white paper, click here.
About Computershare Limited
Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialize in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and utility administration, and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.
Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world's leading organizations use us to streamline and maximize the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers. Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 16,000 employees worldwide.