Chapter 5 of Davies Governance Insights 2020

In Canada, virtual shareholders' meetings began growing in popularity in 2019. A year later, they have become the new normal in a period devoid of normalcy. In this chapter, we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of annual shareholders' meetings, and discuss key considerations for issuers evaluating whether and how to hold a virtual meeting in the current and post-pandemic eras. We expect the number of virtual-only meetings in 2021 to be significantly higher than that in 2019, particularly in the absence of a vaccine prior to the start of the 2021 proxy season; however, in the medium to long term, we predict a substantial portion of Canadian reporting issuers will revert to in-person meetings supplemented by a virtual component (i.e., hybrid-virtual meetings).

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This chapter appears in the 2020 edition of Davies Governance Insights, our comprehensive annual report on the trends and issues most important to Canadian public companies.

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