Spring Member Briefing Webinars


We are delighted to share that more than 90 members from 54 member firms across 28 cities joined our Spring Member Briefing Webinars on 19 and 20 May 2020. This covers 47% of our global membership. This is the first time we have converted our usual in-person Members’ Briefings to webinars due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. We would like to thank our members for their overwhelming support and active participation. We are encouraged to bring more webinar opportunities in the coming months.

Please see below details of the two webinar sessions which cover different topics.

Session 1: How the Energy Transition is Creating New Engagement Opportunities

This session highlighted some of the latest research and engagement opportunities on energy transition in the Asian sphere with two ACGA specialist consultants sharing perspectives from their other day jobs. Melissa Brown provided insights from IEEFA’s analysis of coal exposure, carbon targets and governance at KEPCO and CLP, which has produced its new carbon curve, as well as the cautionary tale of coal heavy equipment manufacturer Doosan. Benjamin McCarron provided updates on engagement with Japanese and Singaporean banks on climate change disclosure and coal policy. This is particularly relevant following recent bank policy updates and a shareholder climate proposal at Mizuho. Benjamin also presented the case for voting against reporting resolutions at the upcoming Chinese coal power company AGMs.

Ms Melissa Brown, Director, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Hong Kong
Mr Benjamin McCarron, Managing Director, Asia Research & Engagement (ARE), Singapore


Session 2: Regulatory and Corporate Responses to COVID-19 in Asia-Pacific

This session examined the range of measures that financial regulators in Asia-Pacific have adopted since February to allow listed companies to delay the filing of their audited annual or interim reports, the holding of annual general meetings (AGMs), and in raising capital more easily (especially through private placements). Of particular interest have been the moves by certain governments to promote “virtual AGMs”, meetings held by electronic means only. Since company law and corporate bye-laws do not permit virtual AGMs in most jurisdictions, some governments have passed temporary regulation allowing them to proceed. Other markets meanwhile are moving ahead with “hybrid” meetings, a combination of physical and online gatherings. These developments with company examples from around the region were outlined.

While there is a general consensus that these moves are a sensible and pragmatic response to the pandemic, concerns remain about unintended consequences. One is that opening the door to virtual AGMs could lead over time to the demise or emasculation of the physical meeting. If so, that would likely reduce rather than enhance corporate transparency and accountability. A second is that the importance of continuous disclosure of material information appears to have been lost in many markets amidst all the focus on delayed annual and interim reporting. Indeed, efforts made by financial regulators to remind issuers of their ongoing obligations to keep the market informed have been decidedly mixed. Third, there is a general fear that temporary rule changes could become permanent (eg, more flexible capital raising) and the crisis used as an excuse to roll back or delay governance reforms in the name of driving economic growth. Conversely, and on a more positive note, it also seems likely that the crisis will strengthen the demand for better reporting on risk management, HR management, and executive remuneration, among other things.

Mr Jamie Allen, Secretary General, ACGA
Mr Chris Mead, Deputy Secretary General, ACGA
Ms Nana Li, Senior Research Analyst, ACGA