The ongoing need to keep business operations running smoothly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a marked shift to digital across the board. Technology solutions are now available that allow normal business to be conducted in spite of travel restrictions, geographical constraints and physical distancing rules. This new wave of innovations now includes the ability for companies to hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a virtual environment.
NextAGM, the digital platform developed by OMESTI, is an affordable solution that enables companies to conduct their AGMs with full proxy and electronic voting features, in strict compliance with regulatory requirements.
OMESTI Group Company Secretary, Agnes Lim, says, “NextAGM enables companies to hold an AGM just like a physical meeting but with the added advantage that shareholders can easily participate remotely. This can be from any location such as their own offices, from home, from within the country or from overseas. This is particularly relevant for companies with a large and widespread shareholder population. All that is required is a stable internet connection.”
NextAGM was developed by OMESTI’s Innovation Team of solution architects and developers in close collaboration with the highly experienced OMESTI Company Secretarial team, as well as local Share Registrars and Scrutineers.
“Incorporating this level of in-depth hands-on expertise into NextAGM means that companies can conduct their AGM smoothly and efficiently, while being confident that strict security, audit and governance procedures are adhered to,” adds Ms Lim.
NextAGM has already been used by several clients to conduct their AGM that otherwise would not have been possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Participants need only register once to use the NextAGM platform and, following successful KYC, they can join any AGM for which they are a shareholder/director/advisor, via a secure link. The virtual AGM is conducted via live feed with the Chairman and Board of Directors participating from the client’s selected broadcast location while shareholders and/or proxies and advisors take part from their individual preferred location over laptop or mobile device. There is no limit to the number of shareholders that can take part with all participation records captured within the NextAGM platform.
During the meeting, NextAGM allows for up to 16 live feeds at a time, with up to 8 people visible on screen at any one time. The layout can be adjusted in real-time, allowing any of the 16 to be swapped in and out, in the event, for example, that one or other is called on by the Chairman to respond a question.
Any questions that shareholders wish to raise to the Board can be posted via NextAGM, both prior to and during the AGM itself. Q&A responses as provided by the Board can be displayed on screen during the live broadcast.
All resolutions are put to the vote via e-polling with shareholders casting their individual ballots in real-time over NextAGM. The votes are captured electronically and the results computed for verification by the Share Registrar and Scrutineer. Voting results are then updated live on screen once the AGM ends.
The entire meeting is recorded with the video and full transcript provided immediately following the broadcast. Other features include options for a customisable virtual background, the ability to run corporate videos/presentations on screen and play music during waiting times.
NextAGM is available with comprehensive range of meeting preparation services and associated technical support.
The Innovation Team at OMESTI has also developed several other bespoke solutions, making use of modern web video technologies to solve the new challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health concerns. Examples include the virtual event space where business matching sessions, interactive roadshows and trade briefings can be conducted with multiple parties across territories.