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ICSA releases its inaugural project: 21st Century Annual General Meeting -- the hybrid meeting: Bringing value all around - consider it now!

HONG KONG, Aug. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) (www.icsaglobal.org) is pleased to announce that its Thought Leadership Committee (TLC) has released its inaugural project, titled '21st Century Annual General Meeting -- the hybrid meeting: Bringing value all around - consider it now!'. With input from Computershare, a leading financial services provider (detailed below) and ICSA's nine divisions: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong/Mainland China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Southern Africa, UKRIAT (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland & Associated Territories) and Zimbabwe, ICSA has produced a paper and a descriptive video encouraging companies to consider adopting hybrid meetings for their annual general meetings (AGMs), that is, to add an online platform to a physical AGM.

ICSA has found that attendance at AGMs for some jurisdictions is dropping, institutional investors rarely come to the meetings, and retail investors know that voting is often decided before the meeting is held. Also, those attending do not appear to be representative of the make-up of the broader retail shareholder population. "Shareholders collectively are owners of the company," said Edith Shih, International President of ICSA and Chairman of TLC. "We believe that companies should consider hybrid AGMs to better engage with shareholders."

While there is not one size that fits all for all companies, ICSA believes that hybrid meetings will bring value by improving shareholder engagement when shaping strategy, promoting long-term shareholder retention and streamlining administration. These topics are explored in further detail in the paper and the video.

"We are delighted to work with Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) (Computershare) on this '21st Century Annual General Meeting project'," said Edith Shih. "Computershare's expertise in this area of running hybrid meetings as well as their generous sponsorship have added much value to our paper and video." Computershare's white paper 'The future of shareholder meetings is virtually here', which was published on 21 September 2017, provides a detailed analysis on the benefits and challenges of hosting hybrid or virtual general meetings.

In the meantime, ICSA calls upon companies to review their current AGM set-up, with thought to adopting a hybrid AGM.

To access the video and paper please visit http://www.icsaglobal.org/2018/07/26/21st-century-agm/

About The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) is the premier global qualifying organisation for professionals aspiring to become a Chartered Secretary and or a Chartered Governance Professional. With over 125 years of history, we assist company secretaries, governance advisers, non-executive directors and others in the development of their skills, knowledge and experience. The Institute is an international organisation with divisional offices in nine countries and 29,000 members living and working in over 80 countries.  Most importantly, it brings its influence to bear on international trade bodies, governments, regulators, NGO's and companies to represent the views and current thinking of those involved in governance.

About Computershare Limited (CPU)

Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialise in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.

Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world's leading organisations use us to streamline and maximise the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.

Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 16,000 employees worldwide.

For more information, visit www.computershare.com.

About HKICS

The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries  
(Incorporated in Hong Kong with limited liability by guarantee)

The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) is an independent professional body dedicated to the promotion of its members' role in the formulation and effective implementation of good governance policies as well as the development of the profession of Chartered Secretary in Hong Kong and throughout Mainland China.

HKICS was first established in 1949 as an association of Hong Kong members of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) of London. It was a branch of ICSA in 1990 before gaining local status in 1994 and has also been ICSA's China/Hong Kong Division since 2005.

HKICS is a founder member of Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA) which was established in March 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2017, CSIA was relocated to Hong Kong in which it operates as a company limited by guarantee. CSIA aims to give a global voice for corporate secretaries and governance professionals.

HKICS has over 5,800 members and 3,200 students.

For further information, please visit: www.hkics.org.hk  

The above press release is issued by the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS), Hong Kong/Mainland China Division of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) through PRO Marketing Services Company Limited

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Source: The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
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