JCSD launches platform to help companies stage virtual AGMsFriday, April 09, 2021
Jamaica Central Securities Depository Limited (JCSD), in partnership with AppFinity Technologies Limited (AppFinity), has launched E-AGM, an online platform to facilitate listed companies hosting virtual or hybrid annual general meetings (AGMs).
The platform is in response to the challenges companies face in hosting AGMs, which are required under the Companies Act, due to crowd-limiting measures implemented by the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19.
According to AppFinity CEO George Henry, the platform provides secure access for meetings and is operationally friendly for users.
AppFinity Technologies was founded in 2017.
The system, he explained, provides a three-step process that gives users complete access and privacy and guarantees accurate data, daily backup with 24/7 monitoring backend software equipped for the current technological era.
Marlene Street Forrest, managing director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), in her address at the launch held last week, said issues such as data protection and cybersecurity are key to the JSE's process.
“These are areas of focus for us, so that our services to you have embedded in them safeguards to mitigate risks,” she said.
The Companies Office of Jamaica, in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries, is presently working on amendments to the Companies Act which will permit listed companies to hold virtual and hybrid AGMs.
The Companies Act, which regulates trading companies and other associations, was last amended in 2017 to allow for greater transparency with respect to companies incorporated and registered in Jamaica. It presently does not allow for virtual, electronic and/or a combination of an onsite AGM to be held.
In the meantime, companies wishing to proceed to hold AGMs have to secure a court order under section 130(2) of the Companies Act which allows the court to direct how a meeting may be held where it is impractical to hold one in the legally prescribed manner.
AGMs provide shareholders with opportunities to question the board, engage directly with management, and hear the views of other shareholders.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login