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Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings

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"E-Meetings" Home Page

"E-Meetings" Program Reference


See also

Agenda for July 13, 2010 Open Meeting

To Be Decided: Standards for Fair Conduct of Investor Communications



For Presentation at July 13, 2010 Open Meeting of the Shareholder Forum

by Cathy H. Conlon, invited expert


Virtual Shareholder Meeting Questions

The release of the Virtual Shareholder Meeting Service by Broadridge in May 2009 resulted in many questions from companies intrigued by the concept of a Virtual Shareholder Meeting, but concerned about how such a meeting would take place.  Below are some of the most frequent questions/concerns that have been raised to us: 

Meeting Type

With modern technology, any type of meeting can be electronic-only or some level of “hybrid” with a location for some participants. Under what circumstances would a Virtual Only meeting format be favored? When is it more appropriate to hold a hybrid meeting?

 Is audio-only generally acceptable if a live video webcast is not feasible?  Should audio-only meetings include slide presentations on the Internet?

What are the considerations for including or excluding a Conference Bridge for shareholders who do not have access to the web or audio capabilities on their computers/devices?

Meeting Attendance

What has been the practice to date for board members to attend virtually (not in the same location as other members)? 

Is it feasible for the inspector to attend/inspect virtually?

Are there limits today on physical attendance and can/should that be carried over to the virtual version of a meeting? Are there necessary limits on the number of persons attending electronically?

Non-Shareholder attendance; what is the current practice; can more attendance be offered with the use of webcasts/audio?

Shareholder Voting

To hold a valid virtual shareholder meeting, should all attending shareholders be allowed to vote at the meeting?

Q&A Issues

Should all attendees see the questions as they are submitted? Should this be limited to shareholders only? Should the tool allow the company to reply to a single shareholder?

How should questions that are not answered be handled? Should a company commit to post all Q&A after the meeting on the company website?


Is it acceptable for shareholder proposals to be presented via phone-bridge? Should there always be an invitation to present at the same location as the company? Would a pre-recorded message be acceptable?

Is trouble-shooting/frequently asked questions process acceptable? Should a company have Shareholder Support Lines available to assist shareholders? Is “Chat” support an acceptable substitute for phone support?

Are there concerns/questions on providing registered list in virtual only meetings?

July 8, 2010

Cathy H. Conlon

Vice President, Strategic Development

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.




This Forum program is open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of standards for conducting shareholder meetings with electronic participation. As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the Forum's purpose is to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

The organization of this Forum program was encouraged by Walden Asset Management, and is proceeding with the invited leadership support of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. and Intel Corporation to address issues relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices, rather than investor decisions relating to only a single company. The Forum may therefore invite program support of several companies that can provide both expertise and examples of leadership relating to the issues being addressed.

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