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Reflecting on 2023: Lumi's year in review

In recent times, there has been a noticeable surge in the commitment to democratising AGMs, making them more accessible and engaging for shareholders. The emphasis lies on bridging gaps and ensuring that every shareholder's voice is not only heard but also valued.  

This blog explores the key trends in AGMs this year, with a special focus on the rise of hybrid meetings and the increasing significance of ESG practices in shareholder activism. 

The continued rise of hybrid 


As we navigated through 2023, it became clear that challenging the 'business as usual' mindset is vital for creating a landscape where AGMs are truly accessible to all shareholders.  

A significant player in this evolution is the increasing adoption of hybrid meetings on a global scale. Hybrid meetings are the future of AGMs, offering an accessible format that opens meetings to diverse demographics. Companies like Lumi are at the forefront of hybrid meetings, providing the technology for global organisations to conduct business in a way that ensures meaningful contributions from shareholders. 

This year, we saw a record number of companies embracing hybrid meetings, constituting 35% of all meetings globally in the first six months of the year. Virtual and hybrid meetings in Asia, in particular, have seen increased engagement, emphasising the broader participation facilitated by modern meeting formats.  

Notably, South African Homeowners' Associations (HOAs) are also joining the trend, with 52% planning to implement virtual or hybrid AGMs, surpassing traditional in-person gatherings. 

This shift towards modern formats signifies a growing desire for enhanced accessibility and engagement among members, prompting the need for streamlined processes and improved technology integration to enhance the overall AGM experience. 

ESG starts and ends with your investors 

The stormy AGM season of 2023 witnessed shareholders holding businesses accountable for their ESG practices. While reports on ESG in investments have been mixed, it is evident that the term has become a buzzword, and investors are increasingly concerned about it.  

ESG should remain a top priority for investors. Examples like BlackRock underscore that investors want their voices heard on ESG matters. Effective ESG practices, it's argued, are not only good for business but also contribute to long-term success, laying the groundwork for a successful ESG journey with investors. 

The growth of IR meetings 

Investor relations have undergone a significant transformation, with AGMs becoming more crucial than ever. Businesses this year have created calendars of investor relations meetings, meaning they have multiple business opportunities for issuers to engage with shareholders. 

Having multiple chances to engage with key stakeholders throughout the year is good for business too, as they provide a pulse for what will happen at the most important meeting of the year: the AGM. 

Shaping the future of AGMs 

AGMs are evolving into dynamic platforms for shareholder democracy, marked by the increasing adoption of hybrid formats, heightened focus on ESG practices, and a more engaged investor base. 

As we look ahead to 2024, overcoming hurdles and embracing government reform or collective action will be pivotal in shattering roadblocks, ensuring that AGMs remain inclusive, engaging, and reflective of the evolving landscape of shareholder democracy.