On April 21st, Proximus, Belgium’s leading mobile telecommunications company welcomed attendees from all over the world to their virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting, via the new LumiAGM platform. LumiAGM launched in Belgium earlier this year, extending the market leading Lumi platform beyond the live meeting to streamline the end-to-end AGM process, and providing a global gateway for retail, registered and institutional shareholders to engage with AGMs.
“We were delighted that Proximus was the first Belgian Issuer to use LumiAGM,” said Rita Baeyens, Director of Strategic Business Development at Lumi. “Simplifying the often complex, intermediated paper-based AGM into a single digital platform not only makes the meeting experience less stressful for issuers but it is also designed with the investor experience at its heart.”
Lumi partnered with Proxymity in the pre-meeting phase to manage Proximus’ Shareholder Disclosure, an essential requirement under SRDII legislation, which only came into force in September 2020. Proxymity also distributed the meeting agenda digitally to shareholders and handled the real-time receipt of voting instructions from institutional investors during the proxy voting period. The real-time connection with Proxymity alone meant that Proximus’ investors were able to spend three more days researching their position than if they had voted with other options and still submit votes that arrived before meeting close. “It’s exciting to see our partnership with Lumi start to bear fruit with the Proximus meeting,” Said Dean Little, CEO and Co-Founder of Proxymity. “The ability for issuers such as Proximus to be able to see the votes arrive as soon as their shareholders cast them is long overdue and look forward to the future where this becomes the norm.”
LumiAGM provided shareholders with the opportunity to submit their participation requests electronically ahead of the Proximus AGM – including registering to attend the meeting, appointing the Chairman as a proxy or casting their direct votes.
The AGM itself saw all shareholders attending virtually using the Lumi platform, with the board members located in a single location. The meeting was declared quorate, and proceeded smoothly with a well managed Q&A session and live voting during the meeting. The live votes were combined with all votes cast during the proxy voting period to give instantaneous decisions in the AGM itself.
“We were delighted to be the first organization to use the LumiAGM platform. The platform helped us to continue our already initiated innovation for interacting with our shareholders and simplify the convocation process for so many of our attendees. Whilst it is a legal requirement in Belgium to hold a Hybrid meeting, as a business we know there is only one direction of travel, where our shareholders are able to attend digitally. We’re really satisfied about the setting the LumiAGM platform offered us to connect digitally, for all elements of the AGM, with our shareholders." Dirk Lybaert, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Secretary General, Proximus.
The increasing adoption of hybrid and virtual meeting formats, the requirement to enable greater digital investor communications as well as the need to facilitate better digital options for pre-meeting shareholder registration, highlights the need to digitise the whole of the AGM process from notice of meeting to the post meeting reporting and vote confirmations.
LumiAGM will fundamentally enhance the number of shareholders able to access AGMs each year, help Issuers fulfil their obligations under SRDII, support good corporate governance and foster better interaction between Issuers and their shareholders.