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Global AGM evolution: insights and lessons

With the stage set for this year's Annual General Meeting (AGM) season, we reveal our collection of meeting trends, key takeaways and lessons from over 3,000 meetings held last year.  

Let’s explore the key highlights by taking a glimpse into the dynamics of shareholder engagement across the globe. 

Hybrid meeting dominance

Last year, hybrid AGMs commanded the spotlight, embracing a record-breaking 40% of all meetings worldwide, a significant 14% increase from the previous year. Australia emerged as a global frontrunner, with 60% of meetings adopting this format. 

It’s safe to say that the appetite for hybrid is here to stay, providing the best of both worlds between in-person and virtual. Opening access to meetings allows businesses to balance the diversity of their shareholder base, with the benefits spanning beyond inclusivity into environmental and cost savings. 

Virtual meetings witnessed a 19% dip year-over-year, but still accounted for more than seven out of ten AGMs held within the US (71%), followed by the Middle East (55%). 

We see that hybrid and virtual meetings remain high on the corporate agenda, as markets worldwide continue to implement this format to increase participation for all. 

Global differences in attendance


We witnessed notable differences in shareholder attendance and their ability to access the AGM across diverse markets.  

The Middle East observed a twofold increase in the average number of shareholders per meeting compared to 2022 and Asia continued to attract the highest number of attendees for their AGMs.  

With Asia leading the way when it comes to governance and accessibility, organisations should look to other markets to increase inclusivity as this wealth of attendance is not translated globally. 

This is especially true in the UK, as red tape continues to limit access to the AGM for retail shareholders. Our recent research casts a spotlight on this, with UK businesses calling for reforms to the share ownership system. 

Collaborative efforts such as Lumi’s pilot project with M&S and Interactive Investor have enabled the facilitation of nominee access, however, shareholders continue to face complexities. Legislative change must occur, and Lumi’s pilot should become standardised to improve access for all.  

Virtual voices rise

Across the 2023 AGM season globally, companies introduced new features like virtual microphones and video elements to enhance hybrid or virtual attendance.   

For instance, within a span of just six months, 15% of meetings across the globe utilised virtual microphones for verbal questions, with the UK leading at 47% and Australia at 33%. Virtual technology should be embraced by all companies this year to elevate their digital communication.  

These features are not mandatory for companies; however, their adoption demonstrates a commitment to inclusive meetings, by mirroring the same ways shareholders can ask questions and vote on resolutions in comparison to in-person attendance. 

There’s a common misconception that virtual attendance makes it harder for shareholders to participate in meetings. However, what we’re seeing with the virtual microphone is that it meets the demands of the engaged shareholder by levelling the playing field with those attending in person.   

Last year's AGMs embraced change to enhance inclusivity, illuminating a clear path forward for the 2024 season. The stage is set, and companies must continue to actively listen and leverage their shareholders’ voices to effectively navigate the evolving corporate landscape.