D.F. King General Meeting Season Review 2020 – A year like no other
The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated industry trends that we highlighted in previous editions of this paper. In the financial markets, investor have clearly adopted a stakeholder model and the market has embraced the technological necessities created by the pandemic. Pragmatism has been the revolutionary factor in shareholder engagement and how general meetings are held. Like the rest of the world, they have gone virtual.
Throughout the Spring AGM season, as corporate response and steep market correction became the key topics, it was apparent that investors were testing boards’ ability to manage the systemic risk created by COVID-19. Companies generally demonstrated a clear ability to focus on favourable outcomes for all in relation to employee safety, community aid, voluntarily pay-cuts and suspending dividends and buy-backs.
Whilst the ramifications were complex and numerous, four key themes have emerged from this year’s AGM season in the UK & Europe, with investors growing increasingly demanding about their expectations of what needs to be achieved to receive their support.
Cash is king
Renumeration in focus
Board composition is critical
The virtual meeting
Boards took difficult yet decisive decisions to protect employees and communities. 2021 should provide them a great storytelling opportunity to show that through appropriate managing of this crisis while evolving their board composition and remuneration structures, they were not only aligned with their investors but with all of us.
About D.F. King
D.F. King Ltd is internationally renowned for securing shareholder support in corporate actions. We specialise in designing, organising and executing campaigns for Annual General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meetings, takeovers, proxy defences, shareholder activism and corporate governance advisory.
Founded in 1942, D.F. King is one of the world’s oldest proxy solicitors playing a leading role in proxy solicitation and M&A globally since incorporation. North America and Europe are core markets where D.F. King has been securing shareholder support for decades. In the past three years, we have worked on over 500 mergers, offers, general meetings and/or contested situations across EMEA.
David Chase Lopes, Managing Director, EMEA, D.F. King
+33 6 72 54 69 79
Eddie Arcari | Business Development Director, EMEA, D.F. King
+44 7892 709 272
Published 30 November, 2020