Eumedion, VEB and VBDO: during virtual AGM offer shareholders the possibility to speak live, ask questions and make comments

Publication:

Joint call leading up to the AGM season 2021

Eumedion, the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and the Vereniging van Effectenbezitters VEB (VEB) (Association of Stockholders) see that physical shareholders’ meetings are undesirable in the coming months so as to contain the corona virus. At the same time, we believe it is important that the decision-making by the shareholders’ meeting on important matters is not impeded, such as the appointment of new directors and board members, the adoption of the financial year report and the authorization of the board to issue new shares. This can be done by making use of the legal option to hold the shareholders’ meeting virtually.[1]

We believe it is important that a meaningful exchange of ideas between directors and shareholders remains possible at the shareholders’ meetings. Hence, we can learn from the ‘virtual AGM season’ 2020.[2] We therefore call on listed companies to offer shareholders who have registered for the meeting the opportunity to speak ‘live’ during the shareholders’ meeting, make comments and ask questions. Only then is fruitful deliberation possible. This is in the best interest of both the company and the shareholders. Shareholders’ questions must be answered during the meetings in order to have a valuable discussion. If this is difficult due to the number of questions, we expect that the answers will be posted on the company’s website no later than 48 hours after the end of the meeting. Eumedion, VBDO and VEB are looking forward to a fully-fledged 2021 AGM season.

Sources

[1] Based on the 2020, ‘Tijdelijke wet COVID-19 Justitie en Veiligheid’ (“Temporary Act COVID-19 Justice and Safety”).

[2] See Eumedion Evaluation of the 2020 AGM season (ENG), the series of VEB-articles on shareholder meetings in 2020 (NL) and the VBDO AGM report 2020 (ENG).