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Link Group launches shareholder meeting technology

Link Group launches integrated voice and online shareholder meeting technology

Z Energy becomes world’s first company to host an Annual Shareholder Meeting with hybrid telephone, online (virtual), and in-person voting participation

16 June 2017: Link Group (ASX: LNK), a global provider of share registry, shareholder management, analytics, and fund administration services, today announced the successful launch of a “dial-in” feature for company shareholder meetings.

Investors are now able to attend, ask questions, and vote at meetings by phone, in addition to attending and voting online, or in person.

Launched at the Annual Meeting of New Zealand-based company Z Energy (NZX: ZEL) yesterday, the offering reflects a global push to increase shareholder engagement and participation rates via more easily accessible methods of communication. 85 people across New Zealand and Australia participated in the Annual Meeting, with 2 shareholders opting to use the dial-in option, 53 online, and 30 in person.

Shareholders were able to dial in and listen to the meeting, fully participate in asking questions, as well as submit their vote by pressing the options on the dial pad of their phone. Shareholders who attended the Annual Meeting in person also had the option to use a smartphone app, LinkVote, to submit their voting instead of completing a poll card.

This range of technology is now available globally for companies and other membership organisations, using Link’s meeting services software. Link offers multiple interactive channels for participation in meetings, and its services are not just limited to existing clients, but are available to all companies and societies who need such services.

Managing Director of Link Market Services Limited, Marcelle Ashcroft said: “The Annual Meeting is transforming, as shareholder demand drives innovation in the development of more convenient ways to participate in Annual Meetings and communicate with the board.

“We envisage technology playing an increasing role in Annual Meetings as they transition from face-to-face, to hybrid-structures and perhaps even entirely virtual affairs in the not too distant future. The enduring benefit of having a telephone component is that it adds a human element to a virtual process – allowing participants to ask questions and engage with the board in real-time”.

“Link Group is committed to developing new innovations to support shareholder engagement, working closely with listed company clients to stay ahead of market needs,” Ms Ashcroft added. Z’s Chief Governance Officer, Debra Blackett, said she was really pleased with the new technology and the participation it enables.

“People are choosing to participate in annual meetings, and to engage with companies more generally, in an increasingly diverse range of ways. We are committed to using technology to ensure our company is as open, transparent and accessible as it can be.”

Ends

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