Serving annual general meetings
Serving annual general meetings
The annual general meeting season is approaching and Euroclear Sweden’s employees are fully focused on helping customers prepare for one of the most important events of the year.
“Our job begins in the fall, and is topped with the annual general meeting (AGM) as the big finale in the spring,” says Johan Arbman, project manager Euroclear Sweden’s BOSS services. “During this period we have planning meetings with our clients regularly, but the number of meetings all depend on the customers’ requirements.”
BOSS stands for AGM system (bolagsstämmosystem, in Swedish). Another task for the BOSS group working with AGMs is to educate banks and law firms.
“We keep ourselves up-to-date with legislation and regulations that may affect our clients' shareholder meetings in one way or another,” Arbman says.
Three different service levels
BOSS offers three levels of service: Complete, Client and BOSS Light. With the Complete level, Euroclear Sweden handles everything: from registrations during the notification period to entries and voting at the meeting.
“You could say that companies choosing our Complete service have outsourced the majority of its shareholders' meeting to us,” says Arbman. “The vast majority of our customers we help have chosen this option.”
Some customers prefer taking care of the notifications themselves because of the personal contact they get with shareholders while receiving notifications. For these customers, Euroclear Sweden recommends the Client level, which means they still help out during the meeting with entries, voting and other processes.
Finally, BOSS Light is for those doing almost everything themselves. Euroclear Sweden only assists with an easy-to-handle internet-based system for notifications and registration of attendance at the meeting.
“It's not just the size of the company that determines what level of service you choose,” Arbman says. “Some companies with a large number of shareholders want to receive the notifications themselves, while smaller companies may ask us to take care of everything because of their lack of internal resources.”
Same procedure, no matter the size
The number of shareholders in a company can vary between a few thousand and more than a half a million, and attendance at meetings often ranges from twenty to around a thousand people. The job of the BOSS team is thus quite diverse even if the procedures are the same.
“The voting process works differently depending on the number of attendees at the meeting,” Arbman says. “Sometimes we use voting devices and sometimes votes are taken by acclamation.”
Safety and security at the meeting
An important part of the team's work is security and availability. A technician is always present at the meeting in addition to the project manager, and all data and technology are duplicated.
“The AGM is central to companies; it's where decision-making happens and it simply can’t go wrong,” Arbman says. “Therefore, we have always put safety and security first.”
According to Arbman, Euroclear Sweden is a natural choice for many customers when it comes to AGM services, since the company already handles the meeting register of shareholders.
“We work on this every day, not just around this period, and our customers often have the same project from year to year so we all feel pretty secure about the collaboration,” he says.