Euronext Securities teams expertly facilitated over 475 Annual General Meetings (AGMs) in this year’s AGM season, fostering unparalleled shareholder engagement. As the year reaches its end, we now turn our gaze towards the 2024 season. In 2023, we showcased seamless transitions between traditional in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings. But what does 2024 bring? And are you ready?
Predicting the success of Virtual AGMs
One pivotal factor favouring virtual AGMs, or VGMs (Virtual General Meetings) has emerged from the 2023 season – accessibility for all. Virtual meetings ensure that investors worldwide have equal opportunities for attendance and participation.
For companies considering a physical AGM, cultural and company-specific factors may play a significant role. Some companies view the AGM as a vital marketing and branding opportunity, especially in the Nordic region, where AGMs foster a robust local investor culture. The personal touch and community celebration aspect of in-person AGMs can be challenging to replicate in a digital setting.
Preparations for the 2024 season
As the next AGM season approaches, our local teams are diligently gearing up to ensure seamless and successful events for every one of our clients. Recognising the evolving landscape of meetings in the post-pandemic era, our teams are proactively engaging with clients to understand their preferences for 2024, and their expectations, as well as the nature of their audience. These preparatory meetings serve as a collaborative platform where our teams and clients synergise their efforts to create a tailored AGM experience.
Navigating the path to sustainable General Meetings
Amidst the dynamic landscape of evolving AGM formats, it is imperative to incorporate considerations for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors as we envision the 2024 AGM season. We expect Virtual General Meetings (VGMs) to be very successful, driven by accessibility benefits that resonate with a younger, tech-savvy demographic. This aligns seamlessly with the ongoing demographic shift in share ownership.
In navigating this divide, Euronext Securities experts often advocate for Hybrid AGMs as the optimal solution, emphasising the flexibility they afford to both companies and investors. Hybrid AGMs allow professional investors to attend virtually, overcoming geographical constraints, while companies can continue to maintain close connections with local investors who attend in person.
Embracing changes in the legislation
The 2023 AGM season marked the first wave of changes to Danish legislation regarding proxy voting, eliminating the need for a power of attorney for voting rights. This shift contributed to a significant increase in valid voting instructions. With the implementation of the Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II) in Norway we expect to see the same increase in 2024 for Norwegian AGMs. Meanwhile in Italy, regulatory changes prompted by the pandemic allowed for the appointment of Designated Shareholder Representatives. In all these matters, Euronext Securities, with its value-added solutions, acts as an intermediary, ensuring transparency, compliance, and expert guidance on corporate governance matters.
For more information on Euronext Securities' general meeting services, contact your local team.