To nominate a proxy or to ask a question, click the button below:
For your proxy appointment to be effective it must be received by Tuesday, 9 November 2021 at 9:00 am Melbourne time.
The Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, 11 November 2021 at 9:00 am Melbourne time.
To attend and vote in real time at the meeting, you can visit meetnow.global/CPU2021 on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Online registration will open 1 hour before the start of the meeting.
For further instructions on how to participate online, view the online meeting user guide.
We would like to invite you to our 2021 Annual General Meeting to be held at 9.00 am on Thursday 11 November 2021.
At our 2020 AGM, I expressed the hope that we could once again welcome our shareholders to join us in person for our 2021 AGM. Unfortunately, given the current restrictions on public gatherings in Victoria, and having regard to the health and safety of our shareholders and employees, we will again be holding this year's AGM as a virtual meeting, as we have done for more than 2,500 clients in the past year. This means that everyone can participate via online facilities - there will be no physical venue to attend.
We have also prepared a detailed Computershare AGM User Guide which is available online www.computershare.com/agm.
The resolutions to be considered at the AGM include the standard director re-elections, and this year Lisa Gay and Paul Reynolds are standing for re-election. We are also delighted to have appointed John Nendick recently to your Board as an additional director and he will be standing for election for the first time.
The resolutions also include the adoption of the remuneration report, which you can read from pages 44 to 62 of our Annual Report as well as a resolution to approve an increase in the non-executive director fee pool, which was last adjusted in 2014.
The Board has also spent a considerable time this year engaging with investors and other external stakeholders on the design of the long term incentive plan for our senior executives and there is a resolution to approve a proposed equity award grant to our Chief Executive Officer Stuart Irving under the terms of our updated plan.
Details of the resolutions are included in this Notice of Meeting. Your Board recommends that you vote in favour of all resolutions.
This time last year, most forecasters expected the narrative for FY21 to be one of fully-fledged recovery and economic rebound, a welcome return to normality as communities moved past the peak risks posed by Covid. However, despite some progress with vaccines and some easing of lockdowns many of the same concerns have persisted, and some of our businesses have continued to be impacted by reduced activity.
With this in perspective, Computershare's overall progress throughout FY21 has been very pleasing.
Yes – headwinds have continued to constrain our bottom line. Central banks have maintained historic low cash rates despite emerging inflation indicators. In the US, the expected upturn in our Mortgage Servicing, Bankruptcy and Class Action opportunities has been delayed further by government policy settings and slowdowns in the courts.
Our underlying businesses remain strong. Issuer Services business is a great example of the progress we continue to make in diversifying our income, with revenues in Corporate Actions, Stakeholder Relations and Governance Services all increasing significantly. Earnings and operating margin in Employee Share Plans have also expanded.
Across the entire Group, we have seen our work to respond to changing circumstances bearing fruit – second half earnings were up 39% compared to the first half. As challenging as the current operating environment may be, when the economic cycle moves back in our favour, we are well-positioned to take full advantage.
As in FY20, we have continued to be transparent, issuing regular updates to guidance and hitting those revised numbers.
We continue to use our strong liquidity to support our shareholders, maintaining our dividend at 23 cents.
As we moved into FY22, we expected to be able to move the majority of our employees safely back into our offices and operations centres. Those plans, by and large, have been tempered by the need for a more cautious approach. In some locations, like the UK and Hong Kong, for example, we are implementing a careful and gradual return to offices. Those who have returned are following a range of protocols to protect their health and wellbeing. We expect this program to continue across more locations in the next few months.
Looking back, the strain on our people has been prolonged further than anyone envisaged – the majority have spent 18 months remote working, while those on-site have been following strict hygiene controls. The Board and our executive team are immensely grateful to our employees for their determination and ingenuity. The word 'resilience' is often employed, but it has never been so pertinent as now. Despite substantial peaks in demand, our teams found new ways to collaborate and keep delivering for our clients and customers, week in and week out.
One of the many corporate actions we carried out in FY21 was, of course, our own rights issue, helping to fund the largest acquisition in our company's history. We look forward to welcoming more than 2,000 new employees from Wells Fargo to our Computershare Corporate Trust (CCT) business, and thank our shareholders for their vote of confidence in this new venture. Integrating this acquisition is one of our main priorities for the year ahead.
The IPCC report on climate change made for sobering reading recently. While we have already taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint, we have engaged a specialist external advisor, Climate Partner, to help us drive our climate action strategy. We intend to set an ambitious date for becoming carbon neutral and are already working to fulfil that future commitment. This is explained further in the Sustainability section of our Annual Report on pages 17 to 18.
We also continue to deliver on our commitment to making Computershare a better place to work for all our employees and providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or age. We continued to expand our employee resource groups, for instance, extending our Women4Women network into Europe, and establishing the Black Leadership Group. You can find more details about our ongoing work in this area on pages 35 to 37 of our Annual Report.
We enter FY22 with renewed energy and confidence. We will maintain our focus on disciplined execution, exercising careful cost controls, and investing our strong free cash flow into growth assets and new technology, balanced with a responsible capital structure and dependable returns for shareholders.
We expect our current businesses (without the contribution of the new Corporate Trust business, CCT) to contribute an extra 4.2% in Management EPS. This is due to a combination of organic growth and cost-out programs, tempered by some wage inflation.
The expected impact of CCT in FY22 will be slightly negative – FY21's rights issue will impact our management earnings per share by about 6 cents. On the plus side, we expect the Wells Fargo acquisition to be completed midway through 2Q22 and contribute about 4 cents to Management EPS through the remaining eight months of the year.
While interest rates will inevitably turn in our favour, we are using today's rate curve as the basis of our margin income guidance. Due to a range of factors, including the addition of the considerable cash balances in CCT and the extension of our Deposit Protection Services contract in the UK, we expect FY22 margin income to increase from our initial guidance in February 2021 of $80 million to $145 million. Any increases in rates will only see this number improve further.
Our Board is itself a great example of the benefits of diversity. I'd like to acknowledge my fellow directors for their invaluable support and the experience, insight and expertise they bring to the Group.
I would also like to make special acknowledgement of our founder Chris Morris and his 43 years of dedication to Computershare. As we announced to the ASX in September 2021, Chris won't be standing for re-election and this will therefore be his final AGM before he retires as a Director.
Chris established Computershare, one of Australia's first technology start ups, in Melbourne in 1978. He was instrumental in taking the business from a local player to an international success story - his knowledge, long-term strategic vision and passion for the industry have underpinned Computershare's evolution into a successful global public company. Our 'Purple' culture of doing the right thing was created and driven by Chris, and we are fortunate to have video footage of him talking about this available to every new employee in the company.
Finally, I would like to especially thank Stuart Irving, our CEO and President, for the exemplary leadership he's provided throughout one of our most difficult years. I know that his commitment to protecting our company – our people, our businesses and our shareholders – has meant many long hours for him. His dedication is appreciated, as is the great contribution he continues to make to Computershare's performance and our distinctive culture.
Computershare's 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held virtually at 9.00 am on Thursday 11 November 2021.
Submit your vote online before the meeting.
You can participate online to view a live webcast, ask the Directors questions and submit your votes in real-time.
Read our highlights of the year in the FY21 Annual Report.
Our Chairman, Simon Jones, provides details of Computershare's overall progress throughout FY21.
Key financial highlights by product and region.
Computershare is committed to improving diversity, creating a safe and inclusive environment for all employees.
We recently engaged a specialist external advisor, Climate Partner, to help us drive our climate action strategy.
Our charitable foundation, Change A Life, has raised over AUD 11 million to support 16 projects in 13 countries.