More Companies Conducting Virtual Annual Meetings

Patrick Kennedy reported last week at the Minneapolis Star Tribune Online that, “Two years ago, SurModics Inc. conducted its annual meeting and only four shareholders showed up.

“Even though it was held at the company’s Eden Prairie headquarters, there was not a big return for the expense.

So last year, the company conducted a virtual annual meeting — something more companies are electing to do. SurModic’s board chairwoman, Susan Knight, said during this year’s meeting earlier this month that the company now expects to follow suit every year.”

The article noted that, “Other Minnesota companies that have conducted virtual-only annual meetings include Minneapolis-based industrial equipment manufacturer Graco Inc., biotechnology company Bio-Techne and Plymouth-based phosphate and potash producer the Mosaic Co.

Mr. Kennedy pointed out that, “SurModics’ annual meeting was hosted by Broadridge Financial, a Long Island company that provides investor communication and other services to corporate clients.

The technology for virtual annual meetings is not much different from what is used for webcasts of a company’s quarterly investor conference call. Broadridge provides the client two specific web addresses — one to broadcast the meeting and another to cast votes.

“Cathy Conlon, vice president of corporate issuer product and strategy at Broadridge Financial, sees virtual annual meetings as a trend.”

The Star Tribune article added that, “Lack of attendance at physical meetings is a big reason companies, especially smaller ones, are moving toward the virtual route. Virtual options also can increase participation, especially with the growth of institutional owners.”

This entry was posted in General Interest. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.