Laggard Direct Line Group: How Not to Do Covid-19 Affected AGMs

In common with many other companies, Direct Line Group has “taken the easy way out” of handling its AGM when shareholders cannot attend in person due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In this announcement of 21st April, Direct Line confirms that shareholders will not be able to physically access their AGM. Only proxy votes may be submitted. Direct line also say:

Shareholders may send any questions about the business of the AGM to the Company Secretary at the Company’s registered office or by email to ShareholderEnquiries@directlinegroup.co.uk. We will provide written answers to questions registered in this way.

There is no indication that questions and answers will be published for all shareholders, let alone allowing any form of interaction between individual shareholders and directors.

For a well-resourced FTSE250 company, arranging a “virtual AGM” should not be too technically challenging. Nevertheless, the company appears to have taken the easy way out, offering minimal opportunity for shareholders to quiz management.

Not good enough, Direct Line!

Mark Bentley, Director, ShareSoc

Disclosure: I hold shares in Direct Line