Johannesburg, 30 March 2020: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has partnered with The Meeting Specialist (TMS) to launch the first virtual AGMs in South Africa to enable clients to engage with shareholders when the country is faced with tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
As an essential service, the JSE plays a key role in maintaining the South African capital markets infrastructure and enabling economic momentum. The launch of the virtual AGM platform comes at a time where business continuity is paramount to ensuring the running of the SA economy.
The platform caters for virtual AGMs and electronic voting, and also allows participants to connect from any location in the world using smart devices. When conducting the AGM, the TMS will ensure a concise record of all attendees, secure auditing and provide technical support.
Ursula du Plooy, Head of Issuer Relations and Company Services at the JSE says "We find ourselves in unprecedented times and that has encouraged businesses to be agile and innovative in their approach."
"Our listed companies still need to engage with their shareholders and hold AGM's, finding enabling solutions for our clients is a key focus for us and our 'new normal' has led us to introducing this new offering, proof that inclusivity and sustainable ways of working is achievable," says Valdene Reddy, Director of JSE Capital Markets
The cost-effective virtual AGMs are aligned with the JSE implementing business continuity measures during this period where physical meetings are not possible, will also accommodate as many participants as possible while allowing screen sharing. This virtual offering accommodates both participants who are connecting electronically and those attending the AGM physically. The JSE will continue to offer this service even after the Covid-19 crisis, as it is a great platform for engaging with stakeholders.
As a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions placed on public gatherings, the upcoming general meeting for Alexander Forbes shareholders has been moved to a virtual meeting platform facilitated by the JSE and TMS which provides an electronic engagement including voting enabled by an offshore service provider. It will be the first fully remote and web-based shareholder meeting of its kind in South Africa.
"While we believe that virtual meetings will in due course become widely accepted, or at least become a routine adjunct to conventional meetings as this is where the future of doing business is heading to, the immediate availability of this service is particularly relevant in today's volatile economic climate," says Carina Wessels, executive governance, legal and compliance at Alexander Forbes.
ABOUT THE JSE
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has a well-established history operating as a marketplace for trading financial products. It is a pioneering, globally connected exchange group that enables inclusive economic growth through trusted, world class, socially responsible products and services for the investor of the future. It offers secure and efficient primary and secondary capital markets across a diverse range of securities, spanning equities, derivatives and debt markets. It prides itself as being the market of choice for local and international investors looking to gain exposure to leading capital markets on the African continent. The JSE is currently ranked in the Top 20 largest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalisation, and is the largest stock exchange in Africa, having been in operation for 130 years.
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