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Rethinking Annual Shareholders’ Meetings in Light of COVID-19

Rethinking Annual Shareholders’ Meetings in Light of COVID-19

Author: Charles H. FriedrichDate: March 27, 2020

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forces continued restrictions on travel and large gatherings, corporations are starting to make alternative plans for their annual shareholders’ meetings. Thankfully, regulators are also taking steps to facilitate virtual annual meetings.

As discussed in earlier articles, state laws require companies to hold annual meetings of their shareholders to elect directors and to allow their shareholders to vote on matters in which a vote by shareholders is required for approval. Many states have relaxed their laws to authorize two types of virtual shareholder meetings. In a true virtual meeting, the meeting of shareholders is held exclusively via the Internet. In the hybrid form, some shareholders participate remotely and communicate with others who are present at a physical meeting. 

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