Is Online Medium of Corporate Voting Essential?

In order to decide the method of conducting annual meeting a company should consider its own shareholder’s needs. There is need of online medium of voting that should be supplement and that should not replace the physical meetings. In the process of recommending the best practices for online meetings, various policies regarding online shareholder meetings. Corporate voting app would act beneficial in that respect as that would help the members to participate in the voting process without any hassle.

Nowadays, majority of companies are holding shareholder meetings remotely which is termed as virtual meeting but these meeting are only as supplement to in-person corporate meetings, they are not as a substitute. The voting app is used as tool by the companies who have incorporated virtual technology for broadening the meeting participation. The virtual option is used for facilitating opportunity for remote attendees to participate the meeting and become part of the decision undertaken in that meeting.

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Online conduction of meeting and participation of the shareholder in the meetings provide an opportunity to improve corporate governance. The shareholders are able to participate in the meetings regardless of the location. This process of voting even aids in increasing communications among shareholders, management and directors.

Here are some more benefits of incorporating corporate voting app:

  • Such a voting process, helps in emerging and social technologies and reach shareholders irrespective their location. Therefore, company has benefit to collect opinion of all shareholders even when there are unable to visit physically.
  • There might be some shareholders who are not able to attend a meeting in person but they have opportunity to access and participate in annual meeting process only when the meeting is conducted virtually.
  • Initiative of conducting the elections remotely even helps the company to have.

Online shareholder participation in a shareholder meeting allows a company to:

  • Take advantage of emerging and social technologies,
  • Reach shareholders wherever they are located,
  • Give shareholders (including shareholders that might not be physically able to attend a shareholder meeting in person) the opportunity to access and participate in the annual meeting process,
  • Achieve potential cost savings for companies and shareholders alike,

In order to ensure that online participation in shareholder meetings provides the same opportunity for dialogue among shareholders, management and directors that is possible at an exclusively in-person shareholder meeting, the group recommends that companies adopt best practices. The group acknowledges a company has the right to establish rules of conduct for a meeting and suggests that companies:

  1. Adopt principles for online participation in shareholder meetings, just as they would for an in-person meeting
  2. Publish those principles for online participation in shareholder meetings in a reasonable period of time in advance of, and during, the meeting
  3. Establish procedures to validate online meeting participants as shareholders.
  4. Establish reasonable procedures to allow anyone to attend an online annual meeting and to determine whether non-shareholders may be permitted to participate on a view/listen only basis.
  5. Establish procedures for shareholders to vote remotely and to have such votes properly recorded.
  6. Establish reasonable guidelines for questions from shareholders intending to participate online in shareholder meetings. Specific considerations when establishing guidelines for questions from shareholders include:
  7. Reduce the environmental impact of the annual meeting (i.e., lower the carbon footprint of annual meetings by reducing travel by management, the board and shareholders).
  8. Enhance retail participation in meetings by allowing such shareholders to vote directly online during the meeting.

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