As organisations across Australia head towards peak AGM season, Governance Institute of Australia has issued a comprehensive guide to holding an AGM under laws that now permanently allow hybrid and online options.
This year’s meeting season will be the first significant test of the recently updated Corporations Act, amended to allow organisations to meet in a hybrid or online format (as long as their company constitution allows).
Governance Institute of Australia CEO Megan Motto says that this season’s AGMs are likely to come under greater scrutiny by regulators, shareholders and other stakeholders as the updated laws are rolled out.
"AGMs have had a major overhaul in recent years due to the impact of the pandemic that struck just as many organisations were about to hold their annual meetings – but were suddenly unable to meet due to physical distancing requirements," Ms Motto said.
"Following a major campaign by Governance Institute, temporary regulatory relief introduced during the pandemic allowing companies to meet and communicate with members and shareholders using technology has been made permanent. And that means that all eyes will be on AGMs this year as the new formats are put to the test."
Ms Motto said this long overdue update means many organisations are currently navigating a newly flexible, digital landscape for their AGMs.
"A vast number of companies are currently traversing a changed legal landscape as they plan and prepare to hold one of their most significant events of the year."
"This latest report from Governance Institute Effective AGMs is a complete guide to holding an AGM under the new laws. It also provides guidance on effective member engagement It’s mandatory reading for all directors, senior managers and governance and risk management professionals. Now is the time to ensure you are up to speed on the new requirements."
The new Effective AGMs report outlines:
- The purpose of the AGM
- What to do
- before the AGM
- at the AGM
- after the AGM
- A regulatory timeline for AGMs
- An AGM logistics checklist.
The new report also offers some key tips for using technology to conduct the meeting: "There are many logistical aspects that need to be worked through in advance of an AGM to ensure the use of technology during the meeting is seamless, particularly in relation to how questions will be conducted."
Download the Effective AGMs Guide HERE