The Evolving Role of the Company Secretary at AGMs
The role has significantly evolved over the years.
Annual General Meetings (AGMs) serve as a crucial platform for companies to engage with their shareholders, discuss key matters, and make important decisions. Within this framework, the role of the company secretary has significantly evolved over the years.
Traditionally responsible for administrative and regulatory tasks, the company secretary now plays a pivotal role in managing shareholder questions and facilitating effective communication between the board and shareholders during AGMs.
In this blog post, we will explore how the role of the company secretary has transformed to include managing shareholder Q&A on behalf of the chair, and in some cases, manage disruption and order of the meeting on behalf of the Chair.
The company secretary’s evolving role at AGMs is closely tied to their expertise in corporate governance and regulatory compliance. They possess in-depth knowledge of the company’s articles of association, relevant laws, and regulations, enabling them to guide shareholders and board members on procedural matters.
With the growing emphasis on transparency and accountability, shareholders increasingly demand meaningful engagement with the company’s leadership. The company secretary acts as a liaison between the board and shareholders, ensuring that their questions and concerns are addressed appropriately. By managing the Q&A session, the company secretary fosters an environment where shareholders feel heard and valued. With advanced technologies those questions could come from multiple formats including in room, online, telephone and even submitted in advance.
During the AGM, the company secretary serves as a point of contact for shareholders seeking clarification or voicing their opinions. They maintain decorum and ensure that the meeting proceeds smoothly. This seamless coordination contributes to an efficient and constructive AGM.
This evolving role reflects the significance of transparent and open dialogue between companies and their shareholders in today’s corporate landscape.