16/12/2020 | Press Release

Online Annual General Meetings: Legislators improve shareholder rights

▪ Shareholders get back their right to ask questions
▪ And have the possibility to submit proposals also in virtual Meetings

The legislator is amending the COVID 19 emergency legislation for the 2021 annual general meetings season (AGM).

Boards of directors will once again have to answer shareholder questions at general meetings, i.e. the previous possibility to ask questions will be elevated to a right. Questions can also be submitted up to one day before the general meeting, instead of the previous two day cutoff. In addition, shareholders will regain their right to submit motions if they are properly registered for the AGM.

"This gives a good signal for shareholder democracy in Germany," says Thomas Richter, CEO of the German Investment Funds Association BVI. "However, what we need again at general meetings in future is a genuine dialogue between shareholders and company management."

The COVID-19 emergency legislation massively restricted shareholder rights during the 2020 AGM season. The BVI therefore opposed its continuation without changes. The coming AGM 2021 season will be enormously important from the shareholders' point of view, as, for the first time, they will have the opportunity to vote on remuneration systems for executive and supervisory boards under ARUG II.

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