- Doug Chia
Snapshots from the Carrier 2021 VSM
I attended the Carrier Global Corporation 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareowners on Monday, April 19 (virtual-only, audio-only). Since the meeting started at 8:00 a.m. EST, I doubt many shareholders living west of Terre Haute tuned in. It was a very routine meeting, since there were no management or shareholder proposals other than the usual. That's what the bulk of annual meetings are like every year.
One thing different was the new platform rolled out by Broadridge in partnership with my friends at the investor relations firm Q4 Inc. Here are some screen shots to show you what the new Broadridge-Q4 platform looks like. This is a much needed improvement, so hats off to the VSM teams at Broadridge and Q4. I'm interested to see how video will be incorporated at other meetings. Enjoy the pictures. You can click on each one to enlarge the images.
Here is the main landing page. It looks more sleek and modern compared to the old Broadridge platform, with buttons along the bottom and links to materials in a column to the right. This has more of the look and feel of the Zoom meetings we've become accustomed to in our workdays over the past year.
Here, you'll see a pop-up box in the upper right corner telling shareholders that the voting polls are open.
Here is the box to submit questions in the right column. Again, this mimics the look and feel of a Zoom meeting.
Here is a shot of what the page looks like once a shareholder has voted, with the option to print their voting choices.
Here is a new feature for this year's VSM platform. Once a shareholder has voted, they can hop over to vote at other companies they own shares of where voting is open. I like this feature as its a good reminder to vote your shares at all annual meetings where you are eligible to do so, and it saves you a few clicks to get to those pages.
Here, you'll see a pop-up box in the upper right corner telling shareholders that the voting polls have closed.
Finally, here is the page that appears during the Q&A session.
Unfortunately, I can't find a replay, transcript or preliminary vote report for this meeting anywhere. It's been two days now, so we'll see if they eventually post those.
When looking for annual meeting replays, etc., I've noticed that companies generally don't include their annual shareholder meetings in the Events & Presentations section of their Investor Relations webpage. Those sections typically include notices of upcoming earnings calls, investor days and appearances at industry conferences, as well as links to replays and written materials for past earnings calls and IR events, but not their annual meetings. Aren't shareholder meetings also "events" for investors? It shows that companies still make a clear distinction between "investor relations" and "shareholder relations," the former being for the "sell side" making earning estimates and buy/sell/hold recommendations, and the latter being for the "buy side" making proxy voting decisions. As the in-house IR and corporate governance teams at companies work together more, these two should converge, but clearly it's slow going. Sadly, companies still view annual shareholder meetings as non-events, and that's very intentional.
Annual meeting season is starting to heat up (no Carrier-related pun intended). I'm looking forward to Wednesday, May 26, which is the date of the VSMs of BlackRock, Chevron, Amazon and Facebook!