Close up of business people having a meeting in a conference room
Legal13 March, 2023

Board and General Meetings in Financial sector: when digitalisation is required

Financial institutions are required to hold annual meetings to allow stakeholders to take part in the companies’ decisions. Boards of directors and committees meet on a regular basis and these meetings are needed to conduct their legal business, examine performance, and think through important policy questions.

Another crucial moment for companies: the Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place every year and within six months after the end of the financial year (usually on December 31st). This results in a traditional “AGM season”, occurring between April 15 and June 30. AGMs are meant to allow shareholders to discuss and vote on important matters such as the election of Board members, fundraising, or executive compensation matters.

Companies in the financial sector are subject to strict data security measures and additional transparency, and disclosure rules to enable shareholders to make informed decisions. Companies are required to publish regular financial statements and to disclose any material events that may affect the company future performance. Choosing the right channel to share information and documents is crucial for these organisations.

In order to carry out these important events, a well-established organisation must be put in place, thus facilitating the Corporate lawyers’ work who are in charge of these instances. The management of these events is even more complicated when the company's shareholders are not all in the same geographical area.

Digitalisation solutions for Board and General meetings exist today to facilitate the processes around the organisation of these instances, especially when the number of participants is particularly high, as in the financial sector.

Here are 3 steps where meeting digitalisation tools comes in very handy:

  1. Preparation of the meeting

    During the preparation of a Board meeting or a General meeting, repetitive and time-consuming tasks fall to the in-house lawyers: assembling the complete list of participants, and their contact details, preparing the convocations, validating attendance by following-up participation, managing powers of attorney and proxies, sharing documentation with shareholders, and handling strong collaboration with the Board, accountants, auditors... for drafting the resolutions.

    Today’s technology allows you to streamline and optimise the preparation of corporate meetings by offering centralised platforms with some helpful features:

    • Dashboards: presenting the list of participants to convene for each instance, and confirmation of their attendance.
    • Automated convocation sending: the convocations are automatically generated, based on your convocation template and electronically sent. Meeting convocation sending deadlines and regulatory constraints has never been easier.
    • Centralised document repository: to easily and secure access to all documentation at any moment, with specific access rights.
    • Tasks workflows: to collaborate on documents draft or review with internal parties, with custom access rights for increased security. Document drafting can be optimised with your company’s generic templates, available directly in the platform.
    • Online participants space where attendees can:
      • Generate and send proxies.
      • Access legal and financial documentation you have shared with them
      • Ask written questions.

  2. Conducting the meeting

    Finding the appropriate meeting room, preparing materials for speaking and documents distribution, collecting and securing votes...all these tasks take time for the lawyers, and can be stressful, especially in AGMs period. Online or hybrid meetings may be the answer! With a Board and AGM meeting digitalisation solution, you offer a whole new experience to your Board, shareholders, and legal department.

    Offering online meeting participation removes geographical barriers and allows you to adapt to everyone's schedule. As a result, the participation rate drastically increases, and the quorum is more easily reached.

    Participants at home can watch the meeting live, access the documents you have shared with them, participate by asking written questions and vote live on resolutions from their online participant area. The same advantages are available to people that attend the meeting in person, as they can vote online from their smartphone.

    On your side, from the organiser space, you have access to the votes in real time, and to the participants' questions. Security and transparency of votes are guaranteed, and the risk of error related to manual vote counting is avoided. So much time and stress saved!

  3. Follow-up and reporting

    Once the meeting is over, there are still a number of steps to be taken: reporting of participation and votes, drafting the minutes and having them signed by the required parties, and finally sending all documents to those concerned.

    Once again, General meeting digitalisation solutions like easyQuorum offer useful features:

    • Self-filling document templates with information retrieved in the platform,
    • Generation of reports of participations and online votes,
    • Electronic signature for legal documents.

    Meeting digitalisation tools are the best solution to streamline repetitive processes involved when organising a Board or a General meeting, and to ensure accuracy and transparency between the company, all Board members, and external shareholders. You avoid errors and omissions and provide quality reporting to the company's management.

Download the whitepaper “Digitalisation of governance bodies: The secrets of a winning journey”
The implementation of a dematerialisation project requires specific management, and in particular to understand the possibilities offered by a digitalisation solution.
Digitize your General Meetings, Board Meetings & other formal meetings
easyQuorum is a solution used by legal professionals to digitize and automate the end-to-end organization and follow-up of formal meeting, from General Meetings to Board meetings, and more.
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