2021 Debrief- the Belgium AGM season in review

Unlike the year that preceded it, 2021 has been marked by an openness and appetite for innovation; and we have seen this from all stakeholder groups – from retail shareholders to institutional investors, banks to brokers. At Lumi, we are on track to deliver over 5000 hybrid and virtual meetings by the close of 2021. And with increasing certainty in the legislative environment, Issuers are looking more confidently towards 2022.

Despite its challenges, the pandemic provided a springboard for many - even though global circumstances were far from perfect, and innovation often the result of necessity. However, forward thinking organizations who did pivot to hybrid or virtual have since reaped the benefits this year from increased brand affinity, shareholder engagement and more favourable voting outcomes. More than this however, these companies are now in the enviable position of being ready to take another step forward in 2022.

Where does Digitalization factor in?

In Belgium, we continued to see a rise in the number of listed organizations choosing the Lumi platform for their AGM, with the numbers nearly doubling in just 2 years. Of those clients who chose Lumi in 2021, more than 25% also opted to use the LumiAGM functionality to allow shareholders to register for the meeting, and submit their participation requests.

At Lumi, we believe this uptake marks a decisive turn for many listed organizations, who are now prioritizing investor enfranchisement and shareholder experience, making it easier than ever for their stakeholders to access their AGM.

Across the gamut of shareholder engagement, digitalization has rapidly overtaken traditional, paper-based tactics, as businesses opt for improved traceability, transparency and expediency. Institutional proxy voting for instance, has been successfully digitized by our partners at Proxymity who have reduced the friction of paper-based voting through paperless proxies that can be cast online, two weeks ahead of the AGM.

In the same vein, through the advent of Lumi AGM, shareholders can now more easily access their notice of meeting through a simple search engine request, rather than trawling the newspapers for news of their AGM.

Pleasingly, innovation isn’t only taking place inside the AGM delivery industry, clients of ours are also taking up the mantel of change; it has been encouraging to see that the banks in Belgium believe in the digitization of the shareholder experience, and the aims of LumiAGM. This is borne out in the number of banks who have enabled the secure data transfer of shareholder logs to ensure a seamless sign-in experience on the LumiAGM platform.

What lies ahead for 2022?

LumiAGM was first and foremost designed as a global gateway for shareholders to access the business of Annual General Meetings of listed organizations around the world: from notice of meeting, to resolutions and key documents. Living up to promises of transformation, the LumiAGM platform helps organizations realise a true end-to-end shareholder engagement strategy that diminishes the heavy lifting of investor enfranchisement into a simple, digital process.

As we move into 2022, and the initial stressors of the platform are resolved (this includes increasing the number of banks who use the platform, and communicate with it in a standardised way) we can see a new future for shareholder engagement, that empowers corporate secretaries to refocus on their primary functions, rather than become overnight experts in AV, event management and delivery. LumiAGM will be a decisive help in this regard, and we know that with buy in across investor relations, we will be able to realise a new, streamlined future for Shareholder engagement.

Is your organization ready for the change?

Lumi is the leading digital platform facilitating in-room, hybrid and virtual AGMs for the world’s largest corporations and membership organizations. It is the only platform that digitizes the entire lifecycle of an AGM in a single solution that enables sophisticated meeting facilitation before, during and after the live meeting.


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