As AGMs shift to online, the industry is discovering that Companies that hold meetings solely online have some of the worst records for attendance.
While big asset managers will continue to get access to directors, this is leaving smaller investors without an opportunity to engage with company directors. While this may not be immediately troubling, the lack of open communication can lead to unplesant surprises with the board and management down the road. "If they're not hearing it, they can't address it and they can't respond," said Christine Janz, CIO of NorthStar Asset Management
As dirctor absences are less noticeable for online meetings, we're noticing an alarming number of absences especially with the large tech companies. While this behaviour will not spread as more companies move online, it's something to be concerned about.
For example, only 2 of Netflix's 11 directors attended a June 6 online-online annual meeting. For Twitter, only the CEO was present out of 9 directors.
For IR teams everywhere that are shifting to online meetings - without the opportunity to hear smaller shareholders directly, it's becoming increasingly important to perform shareholder analysis and implement digital engagement tools (or partner with teams like BHRD) to keep the lines of communication open.
Read the full Reuters article here.
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