UK: AGM Innovation

Last Updated: 9 September 2016

Article by Stuart Ellen

The first fully electronic AGM has been completed, driven by the aim to increase shareholder engagement

There is an appetite among UK shareholders for a higher level of digital interaction with the companies they invest in. This is evidenced by research from Equiniti completed this year, highlighting the importance of engagement with shareholders. More than 5,000 shareholders were surveyed and the key findings are:

  • 76% think companies should do more to encourage shareholder engagement
  • 44% would be more inclined to attend an electronic Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • 22% do not attend AGMs but would like to in the future.

These statistics demonstrate that there is a desire for increased engagement and that shareholders want companies to take the initiative to satisfy that.

In late 2015, Jimmy Choo (JC) and Equiniti worked together on a fundamental review of how JC manages its AGM, with its vision being a fully electronic AGM. This event was a UK corporate governance first.

Investor approval

Good governance was a key driver for the project so the company first sought permission from its shareholders to carry out an electronic AGM. Before Equiniti began work on the practical aspects, a special resolution to adopt new Articles of Association at the 2015 AGM was proposed and it received support from 100% of the votes.

One of the biggest challenges was that this had never been done before, so Equiniti was starting from a completely blank page. JC's legal team was a key stakeholder and helped to define and refine the requirements, which shaped development of the solution.

The two key elements to achieving the outcome were a close collaborative working relationship between JC and Equiniti and a strong project management methodology to manage risk.

Developing an app

The solution design had to mirror all the requirements of a physical AGM but in electronic form; attendance, presentations, Q&A and voting. It had to be simple to use, considering the experience of the end user.

Through the scoping work, it became clear that the end result would be the development of an application for shareholder verification and voting, coupled with the use of telephones for participation. Once the solution was developed, a thorough testing process was undertaken.

Extensive rehearsals took place to establish exactly how this would work in practical terms and at the live event. This set a high level of confidence among everyone involved in delivering the AGM.
A key contributor to the process was Lumi; Equiniti's partner in delivering AGM technology solutions.

An AGM mobile application was created as a native app (Android and iOS). The app directly integrates with the AGM software to allow shareholders to submit questions and vote on the resolutions being put to the meeting.

To access the app, a shareholder is required to enter a unique meeting code known as the 'Meeting ID' followed by their log-in credentials. These are provided in advance, at the point of issuing the Notice of Meeting and associated voting materials. These credentials are held on a secure, authentication server that connects to the meeting database via an online voting platform. A shareholder is not permitted to enter the 'virtual meeting' if their credentials cannot be verified.

The benefits

JC's most pertinent aim was to achieve an increase in investor access to its AGM and to give all investors the opportunity to participate regardless of location − something a lot of companies strive toward. JC felt fully digitising the process would facilitate this.

A reduced carbon footprint is a concern for responsible investors and company boards. An additional but no less important benefit of a fully electronic AGM is that shareholders and board members no longer have to travel to a physical location.

Better attendance

The AGM was much better attended than JC's first physical AGM in 2015, an indication of the greater appeal and accessibility of an electronic AGM. There was also the added bonus of no known issues or negative feedback from shareholders.

Peter Harf, Chairman of Jimmy Choo plc, said: 'We are very pleased with the outcome of this process, which achieved its aim of broadening shareholder access to our AGM in the most convenient way possible. This was in good part due to our registrars and their innovative approach to modernising the traditional AGM.'

The future of AGMs

Technology often defines how the world changes and how our habits change. This is encapsulated by Equiniti's CEO, Guy Wakeley: 'It's fantastic to be credited with not only a significant step forward in the use of technology but also a watershed moment for the standards of UK corporate governance. Use of this technology will not only lighten the burden on companies but also improve engagement with shareholders by making AGMs more accessible.'

Following the AGM, there has been a lot of interest from other companies looking at how and when they can potentially introduce similar changes to their own meeting management. It will be interesting to see the pace at which UK PLCs embrace the extended choice they now have to run their AGMs. Whether it is following JC's lead or utilising a hybrid version, offering both a physical and online meeting as a stepping stone to making the move to a fully electronic AGM.

UK plcs considering a revised approach to their AGM should consider the following:

  1. Start the process early
  2. Ensure executive sponsorship
  3. Undertake research − a review of the Articles of Association, analysis of the share register etc.
  4. Set clear objectives
  5. Define internal and external teams − appoint leaders and advisers to the project
  6. Frequent project team engagement − test and learn, rehearse and implement

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.