What to Do About Your Proxy/AGM During the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 13, 2020 9:58 am Published by
Travel restrictions and event cancellations are mounting in response to coronavirus concerns. In light of this, companies must carefully consider their proxy and annual general meeting (AGM) obligations.

Here are three best practices to employ in this time of uncertainty:

  • Communicate with shareholders proactively. Describe public health measures in your plans to protect shareholders and staff. This is prudent from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) standpoint and dovetails with leadership’s fiduciary responsibility.
  • Conduct as much business as possible digitally. An integrated virtual meeting platform can facilitate key elements of the program as an alternative to in-person gatherings. Event management software enables you to facilitate registration, agendas and remote participation.
  • Leverage recent SEC guidance offering flexibility. By law a physical location must be specified in the proxy/AGM notice. But announced changes allow for the option to “use new technologies, such as ‘virtual’ shareholder meetings that avoid the need for in-person shareholder attendance,” while at the same time ensuring that shareholders and other market participants are informed of any changes. In the event of on-site meetings, limit the length of sessions that require a quorum, skip the provision of food and shelve related social events.

Challenging times are opportunities to demonstrate your company’s commitment to its core values. If your team could use additional support with proxy & AGM planning, our experts are standing by.