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How technology is improving shareholder engagement:

In previous blogs we’ve spoken about the benefits a virtual or hybrid AGM can bring to your company and one of the biggest factors is the potential they offer for far greater shareholder engagement.

And yet, of more than 5,000 shareholders surveyed, 76% think companies need to do more to encourage shareholder engagement. With that in mind, we decided to look at how technology such as Lumi’s is helping to improve shareholder engagement:

It’s making AGMs more accessible to all shareholders

Probably the most obvious benefit of a virtual or hybrid AGM, but a point that bears repeating, is that they make it far easier for Shareholders to attend your Annual Meeting. Institutional investors that wouldn’t otherwise have the time or inclination to attend can easily access a virtual AGM, while the individual shareholder who might have viewed the associated travel costs as an expense they couldn’t wear can now logon via their smartphone.

It’s making the board more accountable

Technology is empowering those shareholders who might otherwise have been too shy to voice their opinions and concerns. Be it a virtual or hybrid AGM, attendees can submit questions via their smartphone or other internet enable device, often anonymously. While enabling greater feedback, interaction and debate could see boards having to face one or two tough questions (and it’s worth pointing out that Lumi’s technology allows questions to be screened or moderated), this heightened level of discussion can be enlightening and revelatory, impacting positively on a business’ future goals and direction.

It’s helping companies modernize

It seems obvious, but the use of the latest technology can improve the overall perception of a business. Whether it’s a simple interactive handset or mobile app, if a company is willing to try new ideas or technology it begins to position itself as a forward-thinking organization and one that shareholders are going to want to remain associated with. By utilising AGM technology such as ours, companies can begin to combat shareholder apathy, resulting in increased turnouts and engagement.

It’s improving trust between board and shareholder

One of the biggest benefits of AGM or voting software is the accuracy and transparency it offers shareholders and management. With the ability to provide immediate on-screen feedback, attendees have the security of knowing their vote has been counted, while results can then be displayed instantly on the screen, with the option of showing abstentions.

In Lumi’s case, attendance reports and voting results are processed and audited on an architecture that has been used at thousands of member meetings over the past ten years, and an audit trail is generated automatically, giving a full and transparent record of the event. By making the entire process more transparent, AGM technology improves shareholder trust and by demonstrating strong, transparent governance, attendees more likely to engage in future.

It should always be remembered, however, that shareholder engagement shouldn’t start and end with the annual meeting. Rather, it should be views as an ongoing cycle; a relationship crucial to understanding investors and their priorities, but also helping them to understand the business objectives, reducing the risk of any aggressive campaigns against the board and minimising the impact of any shareholder activists.

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