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"E-Meetings" Program Reference, April 29, 2010 article

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April 29, 2010

A Real Trend? More Companies Holding Virtual Annual Meetings

Last year, as noted by Dominic Jones in his "IR Web Report," there was a small spurt of companies holding annual meeting solely online, with Broadridge, Warner Music Group and Conexant Systems joining companies that have done it for a few years (eg. Herman Miller, see this blog).

Dominic notes that a number of new companies have announced plans to go "virtual-only" this proxy season, including Illumina, Artio Global Investors, Winland Electronics and PICO Holdings.

Intel originally intended to join this group - but decided to stay with the hybrid "both physical and online" meeting structure it pioneered last year (see this first-hand report of last year's meeting), with the help of Broadridge's online voting platform. Dominic notes that several new companies will try this hybrid model this year - Best Buy, American Water Works and Charles Schwab - with Charles Schwab relying on its transfer agent Wells Fargo to provide the online voting platform rather than Broadridge.

So the total number of companies dipping their toes into the online meeting world is still less than a dozen. Is this a trend that is here to stay? My guess is "yes." Tune in for this webcast that I just announced - "Holding the Virtual Annual Meeting: Factors to Consider and Practice Pointers" - featuring panelists whose companies have tested these new waters recently...


- Broc Romanek

Posted by broc at 8:54 AM




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