Virtual-Only Shareholder Meetings: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Each year, we see more companies electing to hold virtual-only shareholder meetings, for which the benefits are clear: (1) it’s easier to coordinate; (2) it’s less expensive; and (3) most annual meetings don’t amount to much. However, the disadvantages of virtual-only meetings loom large for certain investors.

A few active investors and pension funds like the NYC Comptroller’s Office have spoken outagainst the practice, claiming that virtual-only meetings “deprive shareowners of important rights” and “stifle criticism”. Additionally, the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) has taken the stance that virtual meetings should be used only as a supplement to traditional in-person meetings, not a substitute.

This episode of Inside America’s Boardrooms is broadcast from our new studio location at The Conference Board in New York City. We welcome back Doug Chia, Executive Director of The Conference Board Governance Center, to debate the pros and cons of virtual-only shareholder meetings—and to predict what actions investors may take against the practice.

The original episode can be accessed here.