A rapid proliferation of virtual annual shareholder meetings can be observed due to the circumstances Covid-19 caused. In the near future companies have to determine the way of their meetings, whether they being held in a physical or virtual way. The benefit of staying with only virtual meetings is a certain kind of transparency. Lower costs and the possibility of easy participation at virtual meetings for every shareholder wherever they are located are undoubtedly huge advantages.
Not just the physical abstinence of the investors but also the fact that investors sometimes struggle with the logistics of the virtual meeting like how questions can be asked, how proposals can be submitted, etc. are a reason many influential investors have remained negatively predisposed to these virtual-only meetings. Right now the stakes are highest for small-cap companies, since the cost saving can be more severe for them, therefore small-caps should consider some things before organizing their future meeting plans.
Before settling for upcoming meetings’ formats it is recommended to first confer with their largest investors. A board member should be present for those discussions to make sure that the board hears investor’s feedback directly. In general it is highly recommended to communicate with shareholders sufficiently in advance of a virtual annual shareholder meeting. Also shareholder questions should be visible to all attendees and unanswered questions should be subsequently answered and posted on the company’s website.
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