Link Market Services has become the first global financial services provider to offer both virtual and hybrid shareholder meetings for customers, following a cloud deal with The Instillery.
Reseller News can reveal that the Sydney-headquartered business engaged the Kiwi provider to deliver cloud-based technologies capable of bolstering both virtual and hybrid environments, spanning online, phone and in-person voting participation.
Specifically, The Instillery moved the company’s customer shareholder meetings to the cloud, allowing investors to attend a shareholder meeting from anywhere in the world.
“The Instillery have delivered a scalable, robust, secure platform that we can run the virtual meetings from which allows us to roll out the product to clients that have 100 shareholders to those that have 1.2 million shareholders,” Link Market Services head of client management and business information Will Malan said.
According to Malan, the innovation reflects a global push to increase shareholder engagement and participation rates by offering more accessible methods of communication.
Through the cloud, investors are now able to attend, ask questions and vote at meetings online, by phone or in person.
On both sides of the Tasman, New Zealand and Australian companies currently using the Link Market Services platform include Xero, Spark, A2 Corporation, Air New Zealand, Pacific Edge, Tourism Holdings and Z Energy.
“It’s been fantastic to work with Link Market Services on this innovation where we’ve once again been able to use technology to help challenge the traditional mindset,” The Instillery COO Jamie Wallis said.
“In this instance - how an AGM is run - by providing the architecture to host safe, secure and scalable hybrid and virtual meetings for Link Market Service clients - wherever they may be in the world, no matter their size.”
Following a local law change in 2012 allowing Kiwi companies to hold annual meetings virtually, Wallis said the market has been "itching for a new way" of holding shareholder meetings, whether it be by means of audio, visual and audio or electronic communication.
Last month, New Zealand-based business Z Energy became the world's first company to host an annual shareholder meeting using Link Market Services’ platform hosting hybrid online (virtual), phone and in-person voting participation.
Shareholders were able to dial in and listen to the meeting, fully participate in asking questions as well as submit votes by pressing the options on their phone’s dial pad.
Furthermore, shareholders who attended the annual meeting in person also had the option to use a smartphone app, LinkVote, to submit voting instead of completing a poll card.
In total, 85 people across New Zealand and Australia participated in the annual meeting, with 53 shareholders opting to use the online option, two chose the dial-in option and 30 in person.
This range of technology is now available globally for companies and other membership organisations, using Link’s meeting services software.
Link offers multiple interactive channels for participation in meetings, and its services are not just limited to existing clients, but are available to all companies and societies who need such services.