Scientific Games Corporation has announced that its 2020 annual stockholders’ meeting has been transformed into a virtual meeting format due to restrictions on public meetings and continuing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As previously announced, the annual meeting will be held at 10 am Pacific Daylight Time on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, but stockholders will only be able to access the gathering in virtual format.
The company said it has developed the virtual annual meeting format to ensure that stockholders are granted the same privileges and opportunities to vote as they would at an in-person meeting, using online platforms to ensure transparency and participation for stockholders.
With a prompt starting time of 10 am, online access to the virtual meeting will open 30 minutes earlier to allow the attendants time to log in and test the audio system of their device. Any questions may be submitted while registering.
The decision by SG to take the virtual option for its latest annual meeting may have its roots in the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, but the virtual annual shareholder meetings are becoming more popular according to accountancy firm pwc.
The firm noted in a guidance document: “During the 2019 proxy season, 248 companies held virtual shareholder meetings, compared to 212 in 2018. Of the virtual shareholder meetings during the 2019 proxy season, 93% were virtual-only and 97% of those meetings were audio-only.”
The phenomenon hasn’t been without controversy, it said. “The Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and some large institutional shareholders have publicly opposed virtual-only meetings. Companies thinking about using virtual technology at their meetings will want to ensure the board and management fully understand the concerns. And they will want to discuss whether it is appropriate to engage with shareholders on this topic.”