TSMP Law Corporation joint managing partner Stefanie Yuen Thio was quoted in a Business Times story published on 13 October 2020 that sought her thoughts on the MAS proposing hybrid/fully virtual AGMs as a long term option.
She said that that virtual meetings “do not encourage a free flow of discussions”.
However, hybrid meetings would offer more flexibility for shareholders, as those who wish to attend can do so, but others who wish to dial in and just listen to the presentation may also do so, she added.
“(This) would probably be an ideal way to marry convenience and effective engagement.”
Additionally, she said given that questions from shareholders are generally received in advance, to allow for boards to prepare their answers, along with the lack of opportunity for clarification or to ask follow up questions, this has resulted in shorter meetings and less interaction, “which may not be good for effective shareholder engagement on a long term basis”.
She added: “During the pandemic, a virtual meeting is a good compromise solution but in the long term, we do not want to sacrifice shareholder engagement for efficiency.”