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ASA leads reform of AGMs

The Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) held a hybrid AGM today, the first not-for-profit to do so, leading the way in showing listed entities how to hold a contemporary AGM utilizing Lumi’s technology.

“ASA is proud to be the leader in reforming the AGM, which is the forum for individual investors,” said Diana D’Ambra, Chairman of ASA. ”We had members participating online from all around Australia, as well as members who were in the same room as the board.”

A hybrid AGM is a traditional AGM that allows extended direct voting and participation by enabling shareholders to either attend physically or online. Irrespective of whether they are in the same room as the directors or participating via a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC, shareholders can ask questions of the board, participate in the debate and vote. All votes are collated in a poll with those received earlier as proxies, to ensure that the wishes of the larger shareholder base are taken into account.

“We’re encouraging all listed companies to follow our lead and hold a traditional AGM that allows remote voting and questioning at what is called a hybrid AGM to ensure the participation of all of their shareholders,” added Ms D’Ambra. “Directors should not avoid being ‘eyeballed’ by their shareholders — the face-to-face meeting remains a core plank in governance.”

ASA commended the infrastructure and technology support provided by Lumi Technologies and Streamgate Webcasting. “Lumi worked with ASA at every step of the way to ensure seamless participation by our members, regardless of whether they attended online or physically,” commented Ms D’Ambra. “They delivered a great experience — we could not have done it without them.”

Oliver Bampfield, Managing Director, Lumi Australia, agreed, “Many companies find it is not feasible for their shareholders to travel to attend an AGM. We are sure that hybrid meetings are the future, now such reliable and secure online platforms are available for attendees to view and participate in the meeting.”