How it started
In June 2016, Jimmy Choo became an industry pioneer when they hosted the U.K.’s first-ever electronic AGM. The FTSE250 luxury retail giant with headquarters in London can be regarded as a success story for “electronic” supporters. The electronic ASM was carried out through a collaboration between the global digital Investor Relations solution provider EQS Group, app developer Lumi, and Registrars, Equiniti. EQS Group had extensive experience with electronic AGMs in Europe, successfully offering the first (and only) fully-electronic ASM to be hosted in Germany. A premium, bespoke solution was the ultimate goal for Jimmy Choo in their first foray into this type of digital offering.
To replace the standard “in-person” format, the event was accessible by a developed native “AGM App”, which could be used on smartphone (iOS or Android), tablet, or desktop, as well as via conference call. Via the app, participants could take part in proxy voting and gain access to the relevant information for the conference call and webcast. This app directly integrated with ASM software, allowing participants to vote and review presentation materials from their access points. Facilitating the AGM, EQS Group has been an industry leader in webcasting and teleconference services for over a decade, allowing Jimmy Choo to kick off the shareholder meeting with seamless audio and visuals. The ASM software was also available through a secure platform online.
So, what does a firm need to address before deciding to host an electronic AGM? To start, highly available and secure IT infrastructure. An occasional deterrent of “webcasting” solutions are fears of technical glitches in an important moment – how can this be prevented? Communication, preparation, and technological expertise are key in ensuring a smooth AGM process. Digital IR specialist EQS Group ensured a seamless experience for investors and Board Members. With their partners, EQS Group provided a conference call operator during the entire duration of the AGM. The presence of “on call” assistance guaranteed prompt attention and immediate resolution to any logistical queries and technical hitches, should they have occurred. As an additional feature of webcasts, companies can also choose whether they would like to provide their shareholders with “replay” footage of the AGM.
In addition to tested technology, internal team engagement is key to a successful AGM, whether in-person or electronic. Though webcast and teleconference solutions can be set up by EQS Group within a matter of days, for “rehearsals” and additional services, reserving a minimum of a month for planning is recommended for optimal results. In the case of Jimmy Choo, the luxury retailer executed multiple “dry run” practices prior to the event, including one rehearsal with Senior Management. Adequately preparing for the electronic AGM guaranteed a great end-product, and full coordination between team members and partners.
About Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo is a leading global luxury brand with an empowered sense of glamour and a playfully daring spirit. The brand traces its roots to a bespoke shoemaker named Jimmy Choo, based in the East End of London in the early 1990s, who catered to the global jet set, including Princess Diana. The Jimmy Choo company was founded in 1996, with Mr Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi, who had been heading up design in the East End atelier, coming on board as Creative Director, a position she holds to this day. Mr Choo departed the company in 2001.