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eAGM Best Practices

Azeus to Set New Benchmark in eAGM Best Practices

last update on October 08, 2020

This announcement was first published on SGX

  • Azeus is likely the first Singapore-listed company to have interactive video Q&A and live voting at upcoming e-AGM
  • Group takes lead in heightened engagement with shareholders, with twoway interaction between management and shareholders

Singapore, July 28, 2020 – Main Board-listed Azeus Systems Holdings Ltd. (“Azeus” or the “Group”) a leading provider of IT products and services, will pioneer best practice electronic annual general meetings (“e-AGM”) with its latest e-AGM product, AGM@Convene, by conducting its e-AGM on August 13, 2020, featuring live voting and an interactive video question and answer session. This will likely be the first eAGM conducted by a Singapore-listed company with real-time two-way interaction between the company’s management and its shareholders.

As a leading technology company, Azeus has strongly advocated for a platform which allows shareholders to safely exercise all their rights, regardless of their physical locations while enabling enterprises and organisations to seamlessly conduct their AGMs in a highly productive manner.

Since its launch in April 2020, some 100 e-AGMs have been conducted by Azeus’ clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. Apart from serving the needs of listed companies, the e-AGM platform has also been used by some of the largest associations, country clubs and social enterprises.

In June alone, Azeus helmed over 60 AGMs with its proprietary end-to-end e-AGM software. Its clients include the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies, a wide range of listed companies in Singapore and the region, leading social enterprises and industry associations such as NTUC Income and the Singapore Association for Convention & Exhibitions, Organisers and Suppliers.

Traditionally, AGMs have been conducted at physical venues, where shareholders were able to cast votes and raise questions in person. However, as a result of COVID19, almost all AGMs in 2020 have transitioned to a virtual format. Under the virtual format, attending AGMs in person is not allowed and shareholders are typically unable to ask questions “live” during the broadcast and votes had to be cast through a proxy ahead of the AGM

Contrary to popular belief that e-AGMs largely reduces shareholder engagement, Azeus seeks to demonstrate that such meetings in fact allow for increased investor access akin to that of physical meetings. To bridge the gap between e-AGMs and physical AGMs, AGM@Convene, supports two-way interactive video to facilitate live question and answer sessions, in additional to written questions. It also fully supports real-time voting, in line with industry best practices, while seamlessly providing live webcast that is accessible from a wide range of devices including smart phones, tablets and computers.

Mr. Lee Wan Lik, Managing Director of Azeus, said, “We recognise the importance of shareholder engagement at AGMs as it provides shareholders the opportunity to fully engage with the company’s board of directors in person and raise their queries as shareholders. We believe that the technologies could be leveraged to enable shareholders to be fully engaged, while conveniently exercising all their rights, breaking the barriers between physical and virtual AGMs.”

Through its proprietary platform, Azeus sets out to take the leadership role in redefining the future of e-AGMs – showcasing increased company accountability and transparency with real-time questions and answers. This provides for robust disclosures, equipping shareholders with clear knowledge while conveniently exercising their ownership functions in these unprecedented times where global travel is restricted.

For the security and convenience of shareholders, AGM@Convene features identity verification measures including two-factor authentication as well as a digital proxy form submission. Personal mobile devices can also be used for electronic voting, providing for a safe and contactless voting environment by eliminating the need for physical polling devices, should companies opt for hybrid meetings.

Mr. Lee said, “COVID-19 has changed the manner in which AGMs are conducted, and our proprietary e-AGM solution enables shareholders to “virtually” and safely exercise their rights as if they are physically present at the AGM. Given that the pandemic is largely expected to have a lingering effect, we wanted to create the “new-normal” scenario where shareholders have the choice to either attend AGMs in-person, or remotely – the overarching objective is to enable all shareholders to effectively exercise their ownership functions in companies that they invest in.”

As a strong proponent of paperless formal meetings, Azeus also has a multi-award winning board meeting solution, Azeus Convene, which already has a client base spanning more than 100 countries.

ABOUT AZEUS SYSTEMS HOLDINGS LTD.

Azeus is among the first companies in Hong Kong to be appraised at the highest level (Level 5) of the CMMI-SW model for software development. A leading provider of IT products and services, Azeus was listed on the Main Board of the SGX-ST in October 2004, with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Philippines and China.

The Group’s flagship product, Azeus Convene, is a leading paperless meeting solution used by directors and executives in various industries, across more than 100 countries. The Group has also introduced a virtual AGM solution, AGM@Convene, in response to the shifting trend towards e-AGMs as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. AzeusCare, the Group’s proprietary social care system which supports requirements of the UK Care Act 2014, has also been adopted by various local councils in the United Kingdom.

Under Azeus’ IT services segment, the Group design and implement a broad range of IT software and systems, as well as develop and integrate various software programmes of IT systems for its customers. The Group also provide after-sales services and support by offering a spectrum of maintenance and support services.

In all, the Group has a solid track record of completing over 100 IT services projects for more than 40 government departments, as well as over 20 projects for the private sector in Hong Kong, many of which are contracts from repeat customers.

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