Skanska balances formal and present at the Annual General Meeting
Being well prepared is key to a good general meeting, says Skanska's General Counsel Ann Marie Hedbeck.
World leading construction and project development group Skanska held its annual general meeting in the beginning of April. Approximately 440 participants – with a majority of shareholders or agents - came to Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm to participate in the meeting.
Skanska partnered with Euroclear Sweden a long time ago, considering the administrative work with the general meeting.
"Euroclear helps us with receiving notifications via phone and web, they take care of the registration and voting process during the meeting and handles the payments afterwards – shortly said everything administrative from A to Z" says Ann- Marie Hedbeck , General Counsel at Skanska with responsibility for the AGM planning and implementation.
"This year it was also a great support with Euroclear helping us checking off the five-year mandates that we received last year", Hedbeck continues. "Foreign owners of Skanska have increased in recent years, leading to an increased number of such proxy votes."
Great experience means a lot
The preparations of an annual general meeting begin long before the actual day of the meeting, involving a lot of Skanska’s employees. Euroclear participants include project manager Per Helgesson.
"Per has worked with us a long time and is well run on how our company works," Hedbeck says. "Euroclear’s long and wide experience of general meetings is a great support in general, we can even get advice on planning around the venue and other practical issues, besides the administration prior to the meeting and that which is done on site at the meeting."
Providing space for shareholders' questions
For Skanska, it is important that the meeting not only contains the formal elements, but also space for recent information and shareholder’s questions to the managing director, chairman and auditor.
"This is the largest meeting we have with our shareholders", Hedbeck says. "We want it to be informative and rewarding for all participants, and we see it as an opportunity for us to tell what is happening within the company and for shareholders to be able to get answers to whatever questions they have."
This demands a thorough preparatory work, and Hedbeck says it means a lot with Euroclear helping out on the basic details, immediately before and during the meeting. "That way, we can focus on the information and the questions coming from shareholders," she concludes.