How to set up a family office in Singapore successfully

How to set up a family office in Singapore successfully

How to set up a family office in Singapore successfully

The family office is an increasingly popular business entity in Singapore, providing affluent families the opportunity to formally safeguard and optimise their wealth for the benefit of future generations.

Family offices are most often used for asset management. However, they are also useful for conducting additional activities such as wealth and succession planning, lifestyle management and philanthropy.

Family offices involve various day-to-day administration tasks, usually carried out or supported by external professionals and service providers.

Single-family offices (SFO) service members of the same family, while multi-family offices (MFO) service members of different families.

This article explores the process of setting up a family office in Singapore and outlines reasons you might set up a family office, including the latest tax incentives you may be eligible for.

Why set up a family office in Singapore?

As an established financial hub, Singapore holds immense appeal for local and overseas high-net-worth (HNW) individuals looking to establish a family office. In 2021, it ranked as the second most competitive location for international wealth management globally. Furthermore, in 2022, it had the world’s third fastest-growing population of HNW individuals.

Singapore’s allure can be attributed to its:

  • open, well-regulated economy;
  • strategic and convenient geographic location – a gateway to Asia with ready access to global and regional financial markets;
  • diverse ecosystem of wealth management talent (e.g. bankers, law firms and advisors);
  • companies and service providers;
  • economic and political stability;
  • pro-business regulatory system;
  • extensive double tax treaties with more than 80 countries;
  • low corporate tax rate of 17% (and no capital gains tax);
  • abundant tax incentives and exemptions; and
  • quality medical and education systems.
Setting up family office in singapore

What are the family office tax exemptions in Singapore?

The Singapore Government is actively nurturing the growth of private banking locally due to the fast-growing pool of capital it generates, which can be utilised for urgent climate change mitigation efforts. In July 2023, it announced several enhancements to Singapore’s tax incentive schemes for SFOs.

Eligible family offices can now take advantage of these schemes and exemptions:

This scheme grants permanent residency to individuals who possess at least 5 years of entrepreneurial, investment or management track record, and they establish a Singapore-based Single-Family Office with Assets-Under-Management (AUM) of at least SGD 200 million, where minimally SGD 50 million must be deployed in the 4 stipulated investment categories. Read more about the qualifying criteria for the Global Investor Programme.
Under Section 13O of the Income Tax Act, family offices with an annual local business spending of SGD 200,000 can claim a 100% tax exemption on Singapore-based funds, provided that certain conditions are met.
Section 13U of the Income Tax Act provides a tax exemption for income and gains on certain investments for both local and offshore funds with a minimum SGD 50 million investment.
From 1 January 2024, eligible donors can claim a 100% tax deduction (capped at 40% of the donor’s Singapore statutory income) for overseas donations made through qualifying local intermediaries.

Each entails a set of conditions that family offices must meet to qualify.

How do I set up a family office in Singapore?

The company incorporation process for family offices in Singapore can be complex, but the outcome can provide considerable benefits for HNW families.

“First of all, you need to consider your objective for setting up this family office – whether it is for investment or philanthropy purposes,” says Kevin Cho, Director of Corporate Secretarial for BoardRoom Singapore. “You need to consider what funds will be set aside for philanthropy or charitable purposes.”

Defining the goal you want to achieve will help guide the structure and operations of your family office and indicate the legal and tax implications you will need to navigate. Potentially, you may realise that a different investment vehicle (e.g. company limited by guarantee, trust or VCC) or even a different location will be more suitable.

Next, you will need to undertake the following:

    Choose whether to establish an SFO or MFO, depending on your family’s needs
    Decide on the right legal entity (e.g. a company or trust)
    Establish a tax-efficient company structure as well as trust structure
    Identify the services you require (e.g. tax and legal services, wealth management, concierge services and charitable giving)
    Obtain the necessary licences for operation, depending on your activities
    Establish robust governance and compliance frameworks
    Draft a solid business plan
    Open accounts with reputable banks
    Organise your technology and operational infrastructure, such as internal practices, accounting software, reporting tools and cybersecurity
    Identify and hire qualified personnel or businesses to carry out your business needs (e.g. lawyers, tax advisors, investment managers and accountants)
    Draft a family charter that governs the powers and activities of the company

    Family office formation is a significant undertaking. To ensure a smooth process, it is important to partner with an experienced corporate services provider for assistance with navigating Singapore’s complex legal, tax and regulatory requirements. Working with such a partner will give you access to a team of business specialists, plus a network of trusted advisors and consultants who can guide you through the beginning stages of your family office and beyond.

    Benefits of setting up a family office

    The benefits of setting up a family office

    According to Eunice Hooi, Head of Corporate Secretarial for BoardRoom Singapore, top uses for a family office include asset protection and succession planning.

    “One possible arrangement is to put the assets under a trust structure instead of a standard company structure,” she says. “Having a trust arrangement protects the assets under law, assuming the parents are acquiring the assets for the benefit of the minor child under the trust arrangement.”

    The trust agreement can set the terms on when and how the child will legally own the assets – this might be when they turn 21 or get married.

    “So the family office structure allows you to plan ahead of time,” Eunice explains.

    Additional uses for a family office can include:

    • consolidated wealth management;
    • customised financial solutions and investment strategies;
    • diversification of assets and risk mitigation; and
    • the preservation of family values and legacies.

    As a centralised hub, the family office provides an efficient, streamlined solution for managing family affairs.

    What are the regulatory requirements for setting up a family office in Singapore?

    Understanding and complying with local regulatory requirements is paramount when establishing any new company in Singapore.

    If you are considering starting an SFO, it will likely be exempt from regulations and won’t need to apply for a fund management licence.

    “As SFOs only manage assets belonging to one family, SFOs in Singapore are not subject to licensing or regulation under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA),” Eunice says. “However, MFOs are. This is to safeguard the interests of the different families that are being served by the MFO.”

    Before commencing operation, MFOs need to obtain a capital market services licence from the MAS. They then need to conduct their activities in line with regulations. A skilled corporate services provider with extensive knowledge of the local rules can help ensure your company remains compliant from the start.

    While SFOs may not be subject to MAS regulation, they still need to meet certain requirements to qualify for the available tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act 1947.

    Expert guidance for your new venture

    Expert guidance for your new venture

    Establishing a family office in Singapore can be an effective way to secure your family’s financial future. At BoardRoom, our business experts work closely with you to ensure your new venture succeeds. We will guide you through every phase of the company formation process, ensuring your entity meets local standards and requirements while capturing all the benefits and opportunities Singapore offers.

    In addition to company incorporation and corporate secretarial services, we provide a full suite of complementary services to support your business throughout its lifecycle.

    “BoardRoom provides a one-stop shop for family office clients, providing a range of corporate services, such as accounting and tax advisory services,” Eunice says. “We work very closely with other stakeholders in the family office ecosystem, such as lawyers who can assist with drafting trust agreements, and licensed fund managers.”

    With over 50 years of experience servicing clients in Singapore, BoardRoom can be relied upon to consistently provide accurate solutions that minimise risk and hassle.

    Adopting a tailored approach, we help you achieve your short and long-term wealth management goals.

    “When a client comes to us with the intention to set up a family office, we start by gaining a strong understanding of their goals, needs and background as an investor,” Eunice says. “This way, we can ensure that their choice of investment location and vehicle best suits their needs.”

    For a discussion about how we can assist you with establishing a family office in Singapore, please contact us today.

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:


    Eunice Hooi

    Head of Corporate Secretarial

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    Maximising performance: the potential benefits and drawbacks of employee share options plans

    Maximising performance_ the potential benefits and drawbacks of employee share options plans

    Maximising performance: the potential benefits and drawbacks of employee share options plans

    Employee share plans are becoming an increasingly popular strategic tool, with over 80% of companies in Asia using them to bolster their competitive edge in the current talent market and align their workforce with their organisational growth trajectory. Equity based remuneration such as employee share option plans (ESOPs) or employee stock option schemes (ESOSs), not only incentivise employees to work towards company’s goals but also increase staff retention rates.

    In this article, we investigate the benefits and potential drawbacks of ESOPs for companies in Singapore and provide advice for ensuring successful share scheme implementation.

    How ESOPs work

    ESOPs grant employees the option to purchase company shares at a predetermined price (also known as the exercise price), often lower than the prevailing market price. After a moratorium or ‘vesting’ period, the employee may exercise their options by buying the shares at the exercise price and become a part owner of the company. The plan rules or an internal remuneration committee generally sets the exercise price and timeframes of ESOPs.

    You may also hear ESOPs referred to as employee share option schemes or stock option plans.

    ESOP vs. shares: how they differ

    ESOPs offer employees the unique opportunity to secure a stake in their company’s future success without the immediate financial commitment required when purchasing shares in a publicly listed company. ESOPs also differ from share schemes like restricted share plans and performance share plans, which grant employee shares as part of their remuneration after a set vesting period once agreed-upon targets are met.

    ESOP vs. shares_ how they differ

    Top ESOP benefits explained

    ESOPs can influence employee attitudes and behaviours in multiple ways, providing benefits to companies and their workers.

    The main benefits of ESOPs are:

    • improved employee engagement;
    • increased innovation and productivity; and
    • reduced employee turnover.
    Employee engagement
    ESOPs can be an effective employee engagement strategy due to the sense of company ownership and an alignment of worker and employer objectives, goals and values. In a recent study of employee equity plan usage in Asia, about 60% of participating workers either agreed or strongly agreed that their personal success and their company’s success were one and the same.

    As share value depends on the company’s success, employees are encouraged to put in more effort to improve the company’s market performance and also make decisions that promote long-term value creation rather than short-term gains.
    Increased innovation and productivity
    When employees feel they play a fundamental role in the company’s growth and can see the tangible effects of share price rises in their share plan, they are incentivised to expand their focus beyond day-to-day responsibilities. ESOPs provide channels for them to ideate, innovate and engage in activities that drive the company forward.

    When well-managed and communicated, ESOPs also provide employees with clarity on common goals, which further aids engagement and productivity.
    Reduced employee turnover
    Research shows that the likelihood of an employee resigning decreases as the value of employee shares rises.

    “ESOP participants tend to stay in their job for longer than expected because they know they will be able to reap the rewards i.e. the number of options exercisable after the vesting period. This is even more so, when the share price increases over the years.” explains Nora Jasmine Lai, Operations Manager of Employee Plan Services for BoardRoom.

    Alongside the prospect of financial gains, the partial ownership offered by ESOPs also promotes job satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

    “When employees are rewarded through their ESOP, it strengthens their sense of recognition within the company and they are part of its growth and success,” Nora explains. “In the long run, this motivates them to grow with the company.”

    ESOP-led talent retention has a variety of benefits, including reduced recruitment and training costs, improved business continuity, knowledge retention and the progression of long-term organisational goals.

    Potential drawbacks of ESOPs

    Depending on a range of factors – such as your organisation type and performance, the quality of plan execution and market fluctuations – ESOP implementation may be challenging or even unsuitable.

    Some potential drawbacks of ESOPs include:

    Employees must pay for the shares upfront with their own money before receiving shares into their account and realising them as monetary gains. One way companies can alleviate this challenge and exhibit dedication to ESOP goals, is to partner with local banks, who may offer bridging loans to employees, contingent on the immediate repayment of the loan upon share sale.
    Employees cannot realise their gains if the share price drops below the exercise price in an economic downturn. They may leave the company before the share price improves, thus losing the opportunity to reap their rewards.
    Employees who are not Singaporean residents may be subject to withholding tax when they exercise their options and realise a gain.
    ESOP management can become increasingly complicated and time-consuming as time passes, your company grows across borders, and there are more plans to design and keep track of – each with their own vesting periods and exercise price. Compliant administration and reporting must be ensured across all relevant jurisdictions.

    Companies can ensure smooth ESOP implementation by engaging a premium ESOP services provider – ideally, one that specialises in a range of complementary corporate services such as tax. Firms that offer customisable ESOP platforms such as EmployeeServe can help to simplify and streamline your scheme management by allowing employees to view and transact on holdings in real time.

    Factors to consider before implementing ESOPs

    Factors to consider before implementing ESOPs

    If you are implementing ESOPs in your organisation for the first time, meticulous planning is essential.

    Management staff should consider the following ahead of the design phase:

    • What are your organisational needs and objectives, and how can ESOPs help you achieve them?
    • What percentage of the total number of shares will be set aside?
    • How will the vested options of departing employees be treated?
    • How will employees manage or assess their ESOPs?
    • Will you implement a digital ESOP management system? If so, is it user-friendly enough?
    • Is a share custody account required for overseas participants?

    An experienced ESOP services provider can explain how ESOPs work, answer your questions about ESOP implementation, and guide you through the design process to help tailor the plan to your specific needs.

    If you already have a share scheme in place and want to review it, the best way to do this is to partner with a leading ESOP services provider. ESOP specialists have the knowledge, skills and technological know-how to update your scheme to align with your business goals.

    Tips for successful share scheme execution

    Tips for successful share scheme execution

    According to Nora, effective ESOP implementation requires two things: a quality platform and strong communication from HR and management.

    “Often, employees don’t understand their role in a huge scheme,” she says. “There is often too much jargon and complexity tied to the scheme, which stops people from understanding the benefits they can reap.

    “But as a part owner of the company, they want to do more and understand their role in the entire cycle.”

    A purpose-built platform helps employees understand how the scheme works, especially if it is easy to use and supported by regular communication from HR and the broader company.

    “The system can release regular communications, such as newsletters, to allow employees to keep track of the goals set via the scheme,” Nora says. As a result, employees stay more focused on progressing long-term organisational goals.

    Personalised employee share options services

    When executed thoughtfully and managed effectively, employee share options can catalyse sustainable growth, benefiting both employees and the business as a whole.

    For businesses in Singapore seeking to implement or refine their share scheme, BoardRoom’s premium ESOP services offer a reliable end-to-end solution. With over 60 years of experience and a deep understanding of the local business landscape, we can assist in creating, implementing and managing ESOPs that align with your organisation’s goals and values.

    Our highly sought-after ESOP services give you access to:

    • a dedicated ESOP platform, EmployeeServe, empowering you to navigate the complexities of ESOPs with confidence so that employee satisfaction is achieved and regulatory compliance is assured;
    • in-house experts in multiple aspects of ESOPs, plus a strong network of trusted vendors, including ESOP designers and lawyers, for a seamless, comprehensive service via one point of contact; and
    • share custody accounts for overseas participants, making share trading and the realisation of cash proceeds easy.

    Contact us to learn more about our expert ESOP services today.

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    Liquidation of company in Singapore: Guide to Compliance and Tax

    Liquidation of company in Singapore Guide to Compliance and Tax Banner

    Liquidation of company in Singapore: Guide to Compliance and Tax

    The cessation of a Singapore company can occur for a range of reasons, such as changes in strategic direction, lack of profitability or legal issues. Factors like your company’s state of affairs, debt level, business goals and tax status can determine the method of closure.

    Especially in the case of voluntary liquidation, having a good understanding of the tax implications of company closure can help business leaders to streamline the process, optimise the tax position of stakeholders and minimise compliance risk.

    This article sheds light on the compliance and tax issues surrounding the liquidation of a company and provides valuable insights to help you optimise the process and safeguard the interests of all stakeholders.

    What to know about closing a company in Singapore

    The two main methods of closing a company in Singapore are striking off and liquidation (also referred to as winding up):

    • Striking off – Private companies that are not actively in business and do not have any assets or liabilities may apply to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to be struck off the register. Striking off is a relatively easy, fast and inexpensive process.
    • Liquidation – This formal closure process involves an appointed liquidator who takes control of the company’s assets, business operations, and financial affairs. All bank accounts and assets are under the liquidator’s custody and the liquidator has the power to sell off (realise) the company’s assets, with the net proceeds used to pay off debts and liabilities. Any surplus cash is distributed to shareholders according to their rights and interests under the company’s constitution and Companies Act 1967.

    The winding of a company may be either by Order of the Court or voluntary.

    There are two types of voluntary winding up which are:

    • a members’ voluntary winding up; or
    • a creditors’ voluntary winding up.

    A company’s solvency (its ability to pay its debts and liabilities within 12 months from winding up) will qualify for a members’ voluntary winding up.

    Winding of a company

    The process of voluntary liquidation in Singapore

    To comply with local regulations, Singapore businesses entering members’ voluntary liquidation will generally need to:

    1. Prepare a Declaration of Solvency – A majority of the directors must make a statutory Declaration of Solvency.
    2. Hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) – Shareholders need to pass a special resolution to wind up the company and approve a liquidator.
    3. Realise assets and distribute cash – The liquidator will take over the winding up process, using proceeds from the sale of assets to repay creditors in order of priority. Any excess money may be paid to shareholders and employees.
    4. Hold a final EGM – The EGM must be called by giving at least 30 days’ notice and the notice of EGM published in one English local newspaper and in the eGazette.
    A majority of the directors must make a statutory Declaration of Solvency.
    Hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM)
    Shareholders need to pass a special resolution to wind up the company and approve a liquidator.
    Realise assets and distribute cash
    The liquidator will take over the winding up process, using proceeds from the sale of assets to repay creditors in order of priority. Any excess money may be paid to shareholders and employees.
    Hold a final EGM
    The EGM must be called by giving at least 30 days’ notice and the notice of EGM published in one English local newspaper and in the eGazette.

    Please refer to the infographic “The process of voluntary liquidation in Singapore“ below for more details.


    Prepare a Declaration of Solvency

    A majority of the directors must make a statutory Declaration of Solvency, which annexes a statement of the estimated assets and liabilities of the company. The declaration must also show that as at the latest practicable date, at a meeting of the directors, in their opinion, the company shall be able to pay its debts in full within 12 months from the commencement of the winding up. The declaration has to be made within 5 weeks preceding the resolution to wind up and the declaration is filed with ACRA before the notice of the meeting to pass the winding up resolution is sent out.

    Hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM)

    Shareholders need to pass a special resolution to wind up the company and approve a liquidator. A copy of the resolution to wind up must be filed with ACRA within 7 days after it is passed and advertised in a local English newspaper within 10 days. The liquidator must, within 14 days after his appointment, file a notice of appointment with ACRA and the Official Receiver. The fact that the company is being wound up must be stated on every invoice, business letter or other correspondence of the Company. Then, directors’ powers will cease on the appointment of liquidator and the liquidator takes charge.

    Realise assets and distribute cash

    The liquidator will take over the winding up process, using proceeds from the sale of assets to repay creditors in order of priority. Any excess money may be paid to shareholders and employees.

    Hold a final EGM

    The EGM must be called by giving at least 30 days’ notice and the notice of EGM published in one English local newspaper and in the eGazette. The liquidator will present to shareholders its final account of how the liquidation was conducted and payments were made. It must also lodge the account of the liquidator’s receipts and payments, and a statement of the position in the winding up with the Official Receiver. Within 7 days after filing the account and statement with the Official Receiver, the liquidator must file the account and statement with ACRA.

    On the expiration of 3 months from lodgement of the accounts and the final return, the company is deemed dissolved. The books and documents of the company and of the liquidator shall be retained for a period of 5 years after the date of dissolution and may be destroyed at the expiration of the period.

    The tax implications of liquidation of a company

    Understanding the tax issues involved in company liquidation can help ensure a smooth winding up process that optimises financial outcomes and reduces compliance risk.

    In the case of voluntary liquidation, key tax considerations include:

    • Goods and services tax (GST) – Companies must fulfill all GST obligations, including settling any outstanding liabilities, claiming refunds, filing a final return and cancelling its GST registration.
    • Corporate income tax – Companies must ensure all outstanding tax obligations are filed up to the date of liquidation and there are no outstanding tax liabilities. Any outstanding tax matters must be settled before completion of liquidation process.
    • Tax losses and carry-forward – To utilise any unabsorbed tax losses brought forward, the company’s ultimate shareholders must remain substantially (50% or more) the same as at the relevant dates. Any remaining unabsorbed tax losses carried forward in the year of liquidation will be disregarded.

    Updated rules for financial reporting during liquidation

    Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has recently updated its guidelines for financial reporting during the winding up of a company.

    The Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018 requires liquidators to prepare a declaration detailing the company’s receipts and payments for a period of 12 months after the date of liquidator’s appointment, and every subsequent period of 12 months.

    With effect from 1 May 2021, liquidators can use the same 12-month period as their reporting period when preparing these declaration of receipts and payments. This means liquidators no longer need to split receipts and payments based on the calendar year when filing declaration with the IRAS, making for easier reporting.

    Common tax pitfalls during liquidation

    According to Ade Teo, Senior Manager of Regional Tax Services for BoardRoom Singapore, a common tax pitfall seen in company liquidation is inaccurate record keeping.

    “Some companies do not maintain proper records,” she says.

    “Companies without these documents may face challenges in substantiating deduction claims and revenue reporting during liquidation.”

    This is why good record-keeping is important in every phase of the business lifecycle, from company incorporation to the end.

    Companies with a history of non-compliance with tax filing obligations may face scrutiny from IRAS during liquidation. For companies that have failed to meet tax filing requirements, IRAS may issue chaser letters or impose late filing penalties.

    Taking proactive steps to settle outstanding tax obligations will help ensure a seamless liquidation process.

    Common tax pitfalls during liquidation

    How to optimise company liquidation in Singapore

    Given the complex, time-consuming nature of members’ voluntary liquidation in Singapore, engaging a qualified corporate services team to act as your liquidator can be immensely beneficial. If you are unsure how to close a company in Singapore, a reputable firm specialising in corporate secretarial and tax services can help ensure a smooth, compliant process.

    “At BoardRoom, our company secretarial and tax teams work closely together to ensure we obtain tax clearance in the shortest time frame,” says Eunice Hooi, Head of Corporate Secretarial for BoardRoom Singapore.

    The company secretary’s role in Singapore liquidation includes supporting you with the following activities:

    Navigating the entire process of liquidation
    Preparing for liquidation by ensuring your documents are in order and debts are paid
    Filing necessary returns to local authorities (e.g. ACRA, Official Receiver)
    Sending letters to directors regarding cessation of their power
    Correspondences with the statutory boards (e.g. IRAS, CPF Board) and banks on the commencement of the company’s liquidation and appointment of liquidator
    Informing stakeholders of the liquidation by placing notices in a local English newspaper and on the eGazette

    Meanwhile, tax professionals can help you navigate financial complexities and obtain any tax benefits you’re entitled to.

    “It is very important to engage a liquidator who has a wealth of knowledge and knows what steps need to be taken at what point in time,” adds Eunice, who has been appointed as liquidator to support the clients’ members voluntary liquidations.

    Having the support of a skilled, experienced corporate services team is especially important for the liquidation of a parent company, where multiple entities are involved.

    Streamline the liquidation of your company

    In the event that your business needs to close down, confidently navigating the tax issues and process of the liquidation of a company is of utmost importance.

    For more than 60 years, BoardRoom has been providing expert liquidation guidance for Asia-Pacific companies of all sizes and industries. We can advise you on the members’ voluntary winding up and help ensure a tax-efficient closure that fully complies with local regulations.

    To find out how our local business experts can assist with the liquidation of your company, please contact us.

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    2023 Singapore AGM Insights Report

    2023 Singapore AGM Insights Report

    2023 Singapore AGM Insights Report

    An in-depth report of the future of Singapore AGMs

    In post-pandemic 2023 where shareholder meetings have veered from virtual AGMs to physical AGMs, find out the shifts behind these AGM trends and how hybrid meetings utilising webcasts can be a bridge to enhance efficiency and inclusivity.

    As Singapore’s leading Meeting Services provider, BoardRoom has conducted 173 shareholder meetings in April 2023, and we share our key findings and takeaways on the future of meetings. In this comprehensive report, we delve deep into the current landscape of AGMs to understand the trend and shift in the various formats. Explore the reasons behind this shift and pick up practical tips in organising a successful AGM, so you can identify opportunities and risks while planning for future meetings.

    Download the report to make an informed decision for your next AGM.

    2023 Singapore AGM Insights Report Cover Image
    Download 2023 Singapore AGM Insights Report

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    SG-MY-Lumi Meeting Services : Optimising Hybrid AGMs

    Hybrid Meetings – Tackling the Venue Challenge Banner

    SG-MY-Lumi Meeting Services : Optimising Hybrid AGMs

    In our recent webinar, ‘2023 AGMs and EGMS – What Have We Learned’, more than 50% of respondents identified cost as a major concern when considering hybrid meetings. Many believe that hosting hybrid meetings costs twice as much due to the need for physical venues and remote setup. While rising costs and logistical expenses pose challenges, they also create opportunities for creative solutions.

    One strategy is downsizing venues, prioritising quality over quantity. The key is to strike a balance between limited physical attendance and remote participation.

    Here are our tips on how you can maximise cost efficiency and engagement in your hybrid meetings.

    Connect with our Meeting Services team today to discuss on how you can promote a dynamic and inclusive meeting environment that serves all stakeholders.

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:

    Charlyne Pak

    Share Registry Services Manager, BoardRoom Singapore

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    How cash flow forecasts and reporting can help your business through turbulent times

    How cash flow forecasts and reporting can help your business through turbulent times Banner

    How cash flow forecasts and reporting can help your business through turbulent times

    Amid economic uncertainty and volatility, businesses face unique challenges that can significantly impact their financial stability and long-term viability. Chief among these is ensuring sufficient levels of available cash, which is why understanding your business’s current and projected cash flow is crucial.

    Ahead, Yang Shuzhen, Director of Regional Accounting for BoardRoom Singapore, explores the cash flow forecast and reporting strategies and key finance metrics that can help strengthen your business’s resilience in demanding times.

    Why cash flow reporting is vital for business success

    The preparation of cash flow reports promotes good financial management in several ways. Importantly, they gauge your business’s ability to generate cash and use available cash to meet its obligations – both of which are necessary for surviving and thriving amid an economic downturn.

    “Put simply, if you don’t have enough money available, you cannot pay for expenses,” says Shuzhen.

    The proper tracking of cash inflows and outflows is critical, as it enables businesses to:

    • gain real-time insights into their financial position;
    • create data-driven cash flow forecasts for nimble, informed decision-making and forward planning;
    • identify potential cash shortfalls and take proactive measures to address them;
    • capture opportunities for investment, expansion or increased remuneration where excess cash reserves are identified; and
    • have transparent, trust-building discussions with lenders, investors and suppliers.
    Cash flow vital for business success

    The requirements for cash flow forecasts and reporting in Singapore

    According to the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards, understanding an entity’s cash flows helps users of financial statements evaluate its cash generation capability, needs, and timing. The objective of this Standard is to require the provision of information about the historical changes in cash through a categorised cash flow statement encompassing operating, investing, and financing activities.

    Businesses can assess their cash flow situation via the direct method of reporting, which records actual cash receipts and payments, or the indirect method, which adjusts the net profit or loss for non-cash items.

    “They can also monitor cash inflows and outflows in their day-to-day operations to understand their net cash flow and forecast future cash availability,” Shuzhen says.

    Companies must report their cash flows under three main categories: operating activities, financing activities and investing activities.

    “This allows your finance team and stakeholders to understand cash inflows and outflows for each category and make decisions from there,” Shuzhen explains. “For example, investors can decide whether they want to continue investing, depending on their risk appetite.”

    Cash flow forecasting and reporting

    The difference between unlevered free cash flow and levered cash flow

    Free cash flow refers to the amount of cash your business has after accounting for its capital expenditures.

    It can appear on your balance sheet as either:

    • Unlevered free cash flow (UFCF) – This is the amount of money your business has available before meeting its financial obligations (eg. debts, expenses, taxes and interest payments). UFCF shows your gross free cash flow and is an important figure for investment bankers, potential buyers and executive staff.
    • Levered free cash flow (LFCF) – This is the amount of money your business retains after meeting recurring short- and long-term financial obligations. LFCF shows what cash can be put towards investments and building equity and is of interest to bankers, buyers, internal staff and board members.

    Using these two metrics in your cash flow reporting can help you manage your finances effectively and tailor your cash flow statements for particular stakeholders. However, many Singaporean businesses prefer to assess their cash flow based on the liquidity of their assets.

    Best practice for elevating your cash flow management

    To support financial stability and growth in times of economic growth or downturn, consider implementing the following cash flow management practices within your organisation.

    Reduce expenses and optimise credit terms
    Assessing your credit terms can be useful for addressing predicted cash shortfalls. Many businesses stretch payment timelines with vendors while softening credit terms with customers. Other potential strategies for increasing available cash include securing additional funding sources, diversifying revenue streams and exploring alternative vendors.
    Optimise excess fund
    Explore various market instruments to make the most of your liquid cash. These may be investment opportunities that offer lower interest rates, shorter maturity periods and easy cash access while also generating additional incidental revenue.
    Employ robust accounting practices
    Employing comprehensive accounting practices that encompass meticulous cash flow tracking, transparent reporting, and forward- looking projectional forecasting is indispensable for navigating financial complexities and enables data-driven decision making.
    Use proper accounting software
    In contrast to non-specialised software like Excel, advanced accounting programs like BoardRoom’s partner platform Xero leverage automation and AI technology to streamline financial processes (eg. manual checking), reduce human error and provide precise, real-time visibility of cash flow.
    Regularly analyse cash flow data and projections
    Historical cash flow statements and cash flow forecasts can provide valuable insights into your financial performance. They can empower you to develop realistic budgets, set achievable financial goals, pinpoint areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about new investments, risk mitigation and resource allocation – resulting in greater control over your financial outcomes.

    Partner with a professional accounting team

    Engaging outsourced accounting services can help you improve your cash flow management while ensuring compliance with Singapore’s financial reporting standards.

    For example, many businesses perform their bank reconciliation monthly. This can create difficulties for your finance team, who may need to manually check thousands of transactions and investigate missing or incorrect deposits at the end of the month (particularly if your business receives daily deposits).

    According to Shuzhen, BoardRoom’s Accounting Services team often recommends that clients do their bank reconciliation weekly instead.

    “For businesses who we’re helping to manage vendor payments and track funds coming in from customers, doing bank reconciliation weekly, or even daily, gives them a more regular picture of cash inflow and outflow,” she says. “This is especially the case if they use a POS system, which often results in a timing difference between transactions recorded in the POS system and the bank statements.”

    Enhancing your cash flow tracking with strategies like this is just one way that external accounting support can help make your cash flow management easier, faster and more accurate.

    If your organisation operates across borders, an international accounting and tax firm can also assist with complex processes such as foreign currency cash flow management.

    Partner with a professional accounting team

    Enhance your cash flow reporting with professional support

    During turbulent times, businesses that prioritise robust cash flow management gain a competitive advantage, enabling them to weather economic storms and emerge stronger in the face of adversity.

    As one of the Asia-Pacific region’s most trusted accounting services providers, BoardRoom has the skills, expertise and experience to boost the accuracy and efficiency of your cash flow management – bolstering the operational resilience of your business.

    Our professional team possesses deep, up-to-date knowledge of regional accounting regulations and standards to help satisfy your cash flow management and reporting obligations.

    Contact us today to discuss how we can help position your company for long-term success.

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:


    Yang Shuzhen

    Director of Regional Accounting

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    The critical role of a company secretary at each stage of the business lifecycle

    The critical role of a company secretary at each stage of the business lifecycle Banner

    The critical role of a company secretary at each stage of the business lifecycle

    In today’s dynamic and highly competitive business landscape, companies operating in the Asia-Pacific region face an array of challenges at every stage of their lifecycle. From the early stages of incorporation through to periods of growth and even cessation, the need for effective business management is paramount.

    For business leaders who are tasked with steering their organisation through difficult times, the support of a skilled and experienced company secretary can prove invaluable.

    In this article, we speak to BoardRoom Singapore’s Head of Corporate Secretarial, Eunice Hooi and Director of Corporate Secretarial Services, Kevin Cho, about the critical role of the company secretary and how outsourced company secretarial services can benefit your business at each stage of its journey.

    The importance of a company secretary in Singapore

    For businesses registered in Singapore, the appointment of a local resident company secretary is mandatory to comply with business regulations.

    “Under the Singapore Companies Act, every company must appoint a company secretary within six months of incorporation,” Kevin explains. “Furthermore, the office of a company secretary must not be vacant for more than six months.”

    Company secretaries undertake a wide range of corporate advisory duties across multiple business functions. As an officer of the company, they play a key role in ensuring that the company complies and thrives. Therefore, the professional qualifications and track history of a company secretary are vital.

    Two key focus areas for company secretaries in Singapore are as follows:

    1. Corporate governance

    A good company secretary will help champion corporate governance in all aspects of a business, with the view to promote operational integrity, enhance performance and maximise value for stakeholders. This involves ensuring all relevant corporate governance standards are met (including, for public companies, the listing rules of the Singapore Stock Exchange).

    “At BoardRoom, we maintain a high standard of corporate governance because we advise our clients on what the best practices in the market are,” Kevin says.

    In practice, your company secretary will start by recommending the baseline corporate governance processes that need to be implemented. They will then work with the board of directors and management to enhance the governance framework by considering subsequent policies and procedures adopted by the organisation

    As corporate governance is not a one-time exercise, but rather an ongoing process, your company secretary will continually assess your organisation’s corporate governance and suggest improvements to meet evolving standards.

    Corporate governance with a Corporate Secretary

    2. Regulatory compliance

    As part of their duties, company secretaries help to ensure compliance with local and regional regulatory requirements as they evolve. They provide support with meeting regulatory requirements within the prescribed deadlines, whether this be holding your annual general meeting, filing your annual return or updating your statutory registers.

    Effective company secretaries also take the initiative to engage with regulatory authorities on a regular basis and participate in public consultations on regulatory changes.

    “This ensures that we know what is going on in the regulatory landscape and for some public consultation papers, we obtain the views and feedback from our clients on these proposed regulatory changes,” Eunice says. “We gain a solid understanding of the changes and then help our clients to achieve compliance and get prepared.”

    Failure to comply with regulations may result in legal, reputational, and financial repercussions for a business. To safeguard your organisation, it is important to engage a company secretary who takes compliance seriously and has the knowledge and experience to ensure your organisation observes it.

    Challenges during incorporation

    Establishing a solid foundation is crucial during company incorporation. This means creating an appropriate corporate structure and business model that allows for sustainable cash flow and consistent growth.

    Common challenges to expect at the start include:

    Ensuring regulatory compliance
    Navigating the local regulatory requirements of a new region can be daunting. A company secretary with extensive regulatory knowledge can ensure your new entity satisfies all requirements to minimise the risk of non-compliance.
    Choosing an appropriate set-up
    Your company secretary can explain the different business structures available in Singapore and advise you on the best set-up for your entity, depending on your objectives (e.g. limited liability company, holding company or trading company). If your company secretary is part of a larger organisation with tax expertise, they will be able to provide guidance on potential tax implications and ensure your company is optimally structured for tax efficiency and manage any potential tax risks.
    Maximising the benefits of foreign investment
    If you are expanding into Singapore, your company secretary will ensure your operating model allows for tax-efficient profit extraction.

    Challenges during growth

    As companies expand, they face increased complexity. Larger organisations have multiple shareholders and stakeholders to manage, while smaller businesses may have less experience and knowledge to draw on.

    Common challenges in this phase include:

    • Fostering a shared vision – Various stakeholders may have conflicting ideas about the growth plans for the company. Company secretaries can facilitate communication between stakeholders to pave a harmonious path forward.
    • Disagreements between shareholders – The company secretary can document issues tabled for discussion at board meetings. In his or her capacity as an impartial party, the company can then rely on the minutes of the meetings when taking steps to resolve the issues.
    • Acquiring new business – In the acquisition of a new business, a company secretary can advise and assist on the corporate exercise to effect the transfer.
    • Expanding into new regions – If you are setting up a company in another country, a company secretary with regional presence can advise you on how to achieve your business objectives while complying with the local legislations.

    Challenges during the end stages

    Reaching the end stages of a business entity can be both an exciting and daunting time as you prepare to transition to new endeavours or capitalise on your achievements.

    Common challenges in this time of change include:

    • Choosing the best path forward – A company secretary, together with a corporate finance advisor, can assist with determining the optimal route for your business’s end stages. They can help weigh the pros and cons of selling or liquidating the business versus pursuing an IPO and other avenues and then collectively guide you through the transition process.
    • Ensuring compliance – Your company secretary can help ensure all necessary documentation is filed correctly and that no regulatory obligations or duties are outstanding.
    • Contract management – You may need to terminate or amend contracts with different stakeholder groups, from suppliers to employees. Your company secretary, together with a lawyer, can assist to review existing contracts, advise on termination procedures and help negotiate with parties to ensure a smooth process.

    The benefits of outsourced corporate secretarial services

    Working closely with the CEO and/or CFO of a company, the company secretary can provide immense value to your business not only when times are tough, but also when business is booming. With a capable company secretary by your side, your company is able to navigate obstacles and capture opportunities in all economic climates.

    The question is, will you hire a company secretary internally or engage an external team?

    Outsourced corporate secretarial services are becoming an increasingly popular option, with many businesses seeking a company secretarial solution that provides:

    Time savings
    With an external team handling your company secretarial duties, your executive team are freed up to focus on core operations and growth initiatives.
    Access to a wealth of knowledge and resources
    With access to an entire team of company secretarial experts, your company is supported to achieve outstanding regulatory compliance and address future challenges before they become an issue.
    Compliance support during expansion
    Service providers with a global presence are familiar with international regulatory obligations, so they can ensure a smooth and compliant expansion process.
    A full suite of complementary services
    Growth affects all areas of a business, not just the company secretarial function. Engaging a provider which offers complementary services means you can easily access support across business functions.
    Business continuity
    The departure of an internal company secretary can cause undue stress and financial outlay in the hurry to find a replacement, especially given that the Singapore Companies Act stipulates that the seat cannot be empty for more than 6 months. As such, outsourcing the role ensures you are never without company secretarial support and do not risk falling foul of the requirement under the Companies Act.
    External company secretaries can provide unbiased advice and support because they are not influenced by internal company politics or personal interests, and hence are independent parties.
    A strong referral network
    A top-tier provider will be able to direct you to trusted third-party experts as needed so that potential issues are avoided.

    Engage world-class corporate secretarial services

    BoardRoom has been providing high-quality company secretarial services since 1968. Since then, we have developed a strong track record of helping businesses across all industries achieve their goals.

    “We have a formidable pool of talented, experienced staff who provide support to small- and medium-sized local businesses as well as large multinational corporations,” Kevin says.

    As a full-service provider, BoardRoom can assist you with all aspects of running a business, from accounting, tax and payroll, to share registry and environmental, social and governance.

    “Our company secretarial team has strong technical expertise, industry knowledge and commercial experience, which ensures clients receive specific, high-quality advice for the situation,” Eunice adds.

    “What sets us apart is our dedication to seeing our clients thrive as we genuinely want our clients to do well. We take the time to gain an in-depth understanding of your business and goals, then work as an extension of your team to make your vision a reality,” Eunice sums up.

    For more information, please contact us today.

    Engage world-class corporate secretarial services

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:


    Eunice Hooi

    Head of Corporate Secretarial

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    Tips for running hybrid AGM webcasts in Singapore

    Tips for running hybrid AGM webcasts in Singapore Banner

    Tips for running hybrid AGM webcasts in Singapore

    The arrival of COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of digital technologies for the seamless execution of general meetings in Singapore. Supported by legislative changes, the pandemic ushered in an era where virtual platforms became the backbone of these meetings, revolutionising the way businesses and organisations convened and interacted.

    The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings) Orders allowing businesses to hold virtual general meetings in Singapore ceased from 1 July 2023. However, in recognition of the many benefits afforded by virtual and hybrid meeting technologies, Singapore introduced a new Bill on 9 May 2023, allowing businesses to continue holding their general meetings electronically if desired. However, for public companies listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX), general meetings would have to be held either in physical or hybrid format.

    With legislation supporting businesses to provide stakeholders the option to attend meetings virtually or in person, it appears that hybrid meetings are set to be an ongoing Annual General Meetings (AGMs) trend.

    Charlyne Pak, Manager Share Registry Services for BoardRoom Singapore, explores the reasons behind the surge in hybrid AGMs and offers expert tips to help you run hybrid meetings successfully.

    The benefits of hybrid AGMs

    Hybrid AGMs are becoming commonplace in Singapore and around the world due to the raft of benefits they can provide to businesses and shareholders alike.

    The benefits of hybrid AGMs

    Three key advantages of hybrid AGMs are:

    Greater engagement
    Positive ESG factors
    Cost and time savings

    Greater engagement

    By allowing attendees to join from anywhere in the world, hybrid AGMs, or any type of general meeting, can help to improve accessibility and stakeholder engagement.

    “One of the main reasons companies adopt hybrid meetings is because they want more interaction with shareholders who want to attend in person while at the same time giving shareholders the flexibility to choose which mode they want to participate in,” Charlyne explains. “Hybrid formats allow for a wider reach of stakeholders, as attendance is not limited by location.”

    The convenience of hybrid meetings also means that shareholders are less likely to skip them due to conflicting schedules.

    “Shareholders who hold stakes in multiple companies can now attend multiple AGMs in one day, as there’s little to no travelling time in between,” says Charlyne.

    Positive ESG factors

    By leveraging technology to bridge distances, businesses can enhance their response to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in several ways.

    “Hybrid AGMs can help reduce the environmental impact of meetings because attendees who would normally travel can instead participate remotely,” she says.

    A reduced need for travel leads to less carbon emissions, thus promoting sustainable business practices.

    Hybrid AGMs can also help foster good corporate governance, with higher attendance levels across stakeholder groups helping to promote transparency, accountability and relationship building – three critical components of responsible business management.

    Cost and time savings

    Hybrid meetings can provide businesses with valuable time and cost savings, which can then be redirected into progressing primary business goals. A reduced number of in-person attendees can help businesses to save on costs by downsizing their catering and event space.

    By leveraging digital technology, hybrid meetings are also likely to proceed more efficiently than fully physical meetings; since COVID-19, average meeting times in Singapore have seen a remarkable 62.5% drop.

    How to prepare for a hybrid AGM in Singapore

    Businesses can help ensure a successful hybrid AGM by taking the following steps in the preparation stage.

    Start preparing early
    Commence preparations at least three months in advance to block out attendees’ calendars, allow time for testing and avoid costly last-minute changes or rescheduling.
    Review local regulations and standards
    Singapore regulations are continually updated to enhance the AGM experience for all businesses and their shareholders. To ensure compliance, familiarise yourself with the latest regulatory requirements and service standards. A trusted corporate secretarial services provider and share registrar can ensure your company remains compliant.
    Arrange for site visit and equipment testing
    For a seamless experience, select a venue that easily accommodates in-person and virtual attendees, and invest in high-quality audiovisual equipment. Test all equipment beforehand to minimise the risk of technical glitches.
    Test internet connectivity
    Test your network to ensure it is stable and secure and prepare a backup network in case of connectivity issues on the day.
    Work with a reliable meeting solutions provider
    BoardRoom, partnering with Lumi Global, provides a meetings solution that is secure, user-friendly, and also able to meet the regulatory requirements for live voting and Q&A (a vital diversity and inclusion factor). Familiarise yourself with the platform and arrange on-the-day technical support to ensure quick, professional handling of any unexpected issues.
    Hold a dress rehearsal early
    Unexpected technical issues can cost money and time and harm your reputation. Dress rehearsals allow time for your board, chairman and relevant stakeholders to familiarise themselves with meeting procedures and provide the opportunity to iron out potential issues and create a contingency plan.
    Provide clear instructions to attendees
    Provide clear meeting instructions to all attendees, detailing the process for joining the hybrid meeting, accessing relevant documents and participating in Q&As and polls.

    As a matter of best practice, a reputable meeting services provider will adopt these steps during the preparation stages of an AGM, seamlessly reducing the burden on companies. By leveraging their expertise, they will ensure a streamlined hassle-free experience.

    Tips for conducting a successful hybrid AGM

    When it comes to ensuring the smooth and effective running of a hybrid AGM webcast in Singapore, Charlyne has the following three straightforward tips for business leaders:

    • designate a moderator;
    • request attendees turn phones off or on silent; and
    • foster engagement with both virtual and in-person attendees.

    “Firstly, as there are two different channels for receiving questions – in person and via the real-time messaging platform – always designate a moderator from your company,” she says.

    A sharp moderator can help guide the flow of discussion and manage questions raised during Q&A, encouraging valuable engagement across stakeholder groups, and also helps the Chairman to control the meeting time.

    “Secondly, request all attendees to turn off their mobile devices or switch them to silent mode,” Charlyne continues. This will minimise distractions and interruptions during the meeting and help attendees stay focused on matters at hand.

    “Thirdly, it is important to foster a sense of fairness among in-person and virtual attendees,” Charlyne says. “This involves making sure all attendees are equally engaged throughout the meeting instead of defaulting to those present in the room.”

    Business leaders can foster engagement and satisfaction among all shareholders by:

    • dedicating equal airtime to in-person and remote attendees during the live Q&A; and
    • providing remote attendees with tokens of equal value to any perks provided to physical attendees (such as refreshments or vouchers).

    What to do after your hybrid AGM

    The period following an AGM presents a golden opportunity to evaluate the event’s success and make improvements to your conduct of hybrid general meetings.

    After your AGM, it is time to:

    • Analyse attendee feedback – Gathering feedback from all attendees will assist in refining future meetings. Consider including a QR code at the end of the final presentation directing shareholders to a feedback form.
    • Evaluate the success of the hybrid format – Assess the effectiveness of the hybrid format in achieving your desired outcomes (such as increased engagement and inclusivity) and compare attendance rates with other formats to gauge overall success.
    • Start planning for future AGMs – Use the insights gained from the evaluation process to refine and enhance future AGMs. Opportunities for improvement may lie in adopting new technologies, enhancing your engagement strategies and addressing any shortcomings identified.
    What to do after your hybrid AGM

    Engage a reputable meeting services provider for the best results

    From 1 October 2022, in order for shareholders to make decisions on an informed basis, all SGX-listed companies must include live polling and Q&A at their general meetings. A professional meeting services provider can support with these practices and all aspects of the meeting process from start to finish to ensure a compliant and successful general meeting.

    Top general meeting service providers in Singapore tend to have the following:

    • strong knowledge of local regulations and standards and the ability to help you achieve strict compliance;
    • a wealth of experience in running General Meetings in different formats and implementing contingency plans for dealing with unfortunate situations like power outages; and
    • an end-to-end service that includes a post-meeting debrief to explore what was done well and what can be done better next time.
    Tailored support for hybrid meetings in Singapore

    Tailored support for hybrid meetings in Singapore

    Hybrid meetings have emerged as the future of general meetings, with many Singaporean businesses embracing digital technologies to deliver inclusive and productive meeting experiences for their shareholders.

    BoardRoom has a long history of helping businesses throughout the Asia-Pacific region make the most of their General Meetings. Today, we proudly conduct general meetings for almost 47% of companies on the Singapore Stock Exchange and have a strong reputation for delivering exceptional outcomes for clients.

    As part of our comprehensive share registry service, we assist with all aspects of running physical, virtual and hybrid meetings in Singapore. Our experienced share registry team specialises in providing a professional, tailored meeting service that aligns with your unique business needs.

    Contact us today to find out how we can assist with running your next AGM. To learn more about the future of annual general meetings in Singapore, download our AGM trend infographic so you will be equipped to make informed decisions for your next AGM

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:

    Charlyne Pak

    Share Registry Services Manager, BoardRoom Singapore

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    The benefits of hybrid meetings and virtual AGMs in Singapore

    The benefits of hybrid meetings and virtual AGMs in Singapore

    The benefits of hybrid meetings and virtual AGMs in Singapore

    The global shift towards greater digitalisation has had significant impacts on the Singapore corporate sphere, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving to accelerate a sector-wide uptake of digital communication technologies to support business continuity.

    While the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings) Orders allowing businesses to hold meetings electronically ended on 1 July 2023, a new Bill has already come into effect, giving businesses (non-SGX listed) the option to continue conducting their meetings virtually if they wish – even if physical meetings are stipulated in their company constitution.

    Now that businesses have experienced the advantages of electronic meetings first-hand, the shift towards virtual and hybrid formats is expected to be an enduring Annual General Meetings (AGMs) trend.

    Ahead, Charlyne Pak, Manager Share Registry Services for BoardRoom Singapore, explains how both small and large businesses can benefit from holding hybrid and virtual meetings in Singapore. We will also explore key considerations for ensuring your meetings foster positive communication and meaningful connection between shareholders.

    Key advantages of hybrid meetings and virtual AGMs in Singapore

    A major advantage of virtual meetings is that they can be logistically easier to arrange than on-site meetings. This is particularly the case when the board of directors are located overseas.

    “On-site meetings may require transport, venue preparation, accommodation and catering, while virtual meetings allow participants to dial in from wherever they’re located,” Charlyne explains. “This makes running the meeting easier logistically and saves on costs.”

    Benefits AGM meeting

    Additional advantages of hybrid and virtual meetings include:

    Increased flexibility and convenience
    Participants can choose whether to attend physically or remotely, depending on their location and preferred mode of communication.
    Enhanced diversity and inclusion (D&I)
    Shareholders who are based overseas or have mobility or health issues (e.g. immunodeficiency) can easily attend remotely, which supports inclusivity and engagement levels.
    Improved communication
    Real-time messaging functions allow for better communication during Q&A sessions, as it removes the stress or pressure that can come with asking questions in-person.
    Time savings
    Digital capabilities such as pre-meeting registrations, integrated virtual voting and live Q&A help to streamline meeting management.
    Corporate sustainability
    The need for travel, paper and catering is minimised or removed, resulting in less wastage and a smaller carbon footprint.
    Bolstered reputation
    Leveraging new technologies symbolises your company’s eagerness to stay at the forefront of evolving business practices.

    The benefits of virtual AGMs for smaller businesses

    The time and cost savings of electronic AGMs make them a popular option for many smaller businesses, who usually have limited financial resources and therefore must prioritise the effective management of budgets.

    “Virtual meetings can be more cost-effective as you don’t have travelling, accommodation or venue booking expenses,” says Charlyne.

    The real-time engagement tools offered by digital technology have cut meeting times dramatically, with the average meeting now lasting 30 minutes, down from 80 minutes in 2019.

    Digital technology can also assist small businesses in making new connections and fostering strong partnerships due to the improved networking and collaboration opportunities it can provide.

    The benefits of virtual AGMs for smaller businesses

    The benefits of hybrid AGMs for larger businesses

    As COVID-19 restrictions eased, many businesses – particularly larger organisations with numerous shareholders – learned how to run a hybrid AGM so that overseas shareholders could still enjoy the convenience of attending remotely.

    According to Charlyne, the flexibility of hybrid meetings can help boost participation numbers, leading to stronger engagement and communication among members of your organisation.

    “With hybrid meetings, you can connect with a larger group of shareholders with no geographical limitations,” Charlyne says. “However, less tech-savvy shareholders can still choose to attend in person.”

    Hybrid meetings also allow companies to streamline in-meeting communication through the use of digital tools.

    “Participants can raise questions virtually via real-time messaging, where the moderator can categorise similar/repeated questions for the Chairman to reply. This helps in reducing the duration of the meeting,” Charlyne says.

    What to consider when running a hybrid or virtual AGM in Singapore

    Business leaders can maximise the benefits of hybrid and virtual meetings (AGM, EGM) by paying attention to the following factors.

    Meeting format
    Both virtual and hybrid settings for your AGM offer distinct unique benefits. Make your selection based on your business requirements and shareholder demographics.
    Communication management
    To comply with regulatory standards and support good communication, work with reliable meeting service providers. BoardRoom, partnering with Lumi Global, provides meeting solutions with features such as real-time voting, messaging, polling, and document repository which provides shareholders easy access to all documents. Make sure to designate a moderator to manage incoming virtual messages and questions.
    Practise and preparation
    Prior to the meeting, it is important to perform a dry run (dress rehearsal) and craft detailed chairman scripts. This will help ensure the seamless execution of your meeting and instil confidence amongst attendees, leading to enhanced meeting outcomes.
    Good governance
    A reputable meeting services provider can ensure good corporate governance by facilitating transparent and inclusive communication, promoting effective decision making and support in maintaining accurate records.
    Risk mitigation
    To reduce the risk of disruptions, work with your meeting services provider to put contingency plans in place in the event of technical failure. By partnering with Lumi Global, the world’s leading end-to-end hybrid and virtual meeting provider, BoardRoom is able to switch to a backup server almost instantly should there be a power failure during your meeting, thus maintaining seamless continuity.
    Privacy and security
    Ensure internal data privacy and security protocols are followed to protect sensitive information shared before, during and after the meeting.

    Make the most of your meetings with BoardRoom

    Amid digital transformation in Singapore and around the world, electronic meetings have emerged as powerful tools for businesses to adapt and thrive. Well-conducted hybrid and virtual AGMs provide a valuable opportunity to engage meaningfully with shareholders and gain a strong understanding of stakeholder expectations.

    At BoardRoom, we are ready to handle all your meeting management, polling and live engagement needs as part of our premium share registry services.

    With a commitment to delivering quality service, we strive to ensure the effective and compliant running of your general meetings in line with local regulations and the Singapore Standard for Vendors of Virtual/Hybrid General Meeting Systems.

    Our dedication to positive client outcomes means we are now Singapore’s leading meeting services provider, with 47% of public-listed companies choosing BoardRoom to conduct their general meetings.

    Contact us to discuss how our comprehensive share registry and meeting services can benefit your business.

    Make the most of your meetings with BoardRoom

    Contact BoardRoom for more information:

    Charlyne Pak

    Share Registry Services Manager, BoardRoom Singapore

    E: [email protected]

    T: +65 6536 5355

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    The changing face of meetings and AGMs, from virtual to in-person. What to expect?

    The changing face of meetings, from virtual to in-person. What to expect Banner

    The changing face of meetings and AGMs, from virtual to in-person. What to expect?

    With recent changes in regulatory requirements and shareholder activism, we have observed significant differences in how companies conduct their meetings to ensure regulatory compliance and meet shareholders’ expectations. Adoption of technology such as AGM webcasts and ESG factors have also influenced the way companies conduct their meetings.

    We have compiled valuable insights reflecting the dynamic shifts that have taken place in the world of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) for the April-May meeting season in Singapore. Whether you’re an investor or a company executive, our infographic is your gateway to understanding the dynamics of virtual, physical and hybrid AGMs in Singapore.

    Download our AGM Trends Infographic today so you will be equipped to make informed decisions for your next AGM.

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