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Meetings are necessary for any organization. Through meetings, members can discuss and address specific issues, plan, organize, solve problems, and set goals. It is essential to grow and nurture successful organizations and to make their members function effectively. Over time, the meeting landscape has shifted – from face-to-face interactions to holding meetings virtually. But regardless of how meetings are conducted, it is crucial to keep a proper record of all the critical issues discussed during a session. Keeping minutes of a meeting will make subsequent sessions more structured and streamlined and may also aid companies in the following ways:

 

  • It acts as a guide and a reminder of key issues discussed in previous meetings.
  • It keeps track of all the topics and discussions raised during a session.
  • It serves as an indicator of whether members of the organization were present or not during a meeting.
  • It saves time and effort by not going through the discussions and meeting recordings again.
  • It may serve as a corporate defense or evidence if a situation arises.

 

Taking meeting minutes can be done in several ways. The most common practice is hiring a professional note-taker who’ll be present while the session is ongoing.  This method, however, could end up being pretty costly in the long run. Other organizations may also have an assistant to take notes or do the meeting summary, but this could be time-consuming and less productive since their assistants might be working on other things. The most efficient and effective method is submitting the meeting recording to transcription companies and having them do the summary. Since meetings nowadays are mostly done online, it has become a common practice to keep a video or an audio recording of the session, which could then be passed to transcription companies for them to do the note-taking task.

 

What Do Meeting Minutes Look Like?

 

As discussed, meeting minutes are recorded notes during a meeting. The practice involves highlighting the key issues addressed, including the action items discussed during the meeting. Meeting minutes may look different depending on the client company’s preference; however, these documents usually include the following details:

 

  • Date and time of when the meeting took place 
  • Names of the attendees
  • The purpose of the meeting
  • The meeting agenda and subjects to be discussed, as well as other events and exchange of views
  • Action items
  • Next meeting date

 

Examples of Meeting Minutes

 

Meeting minutes can be distinguished by the number of items or elements present in each type and how detailed or simplified one may appear. The two examples of meeting minutes are the Formal or Standard Format and the Informal or Executive format. Companies may decide which of the two types they would implement depending on their preference and needs. Below is a simple comparison of their differences.

 

Formal/Standard Informal/Executive
  • 3-4 pages
  • Attendees
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Summary
  • Other events or discussions
  • Next Meeting Date
  • 1-2 pages
  • Agenda
  • Key points
  • Other events or discussions
  • Next Meeting Date

 

Formal summaries are also called Standard Summaries or Discussion Minutes. This type of summary is usually long because it contains nearly all of the events that have occurred during the discourse of the meeting. It is more detailed, and companies often prefer this type for its accuracy and point-by-point explanation of everything that transpired during the assembly. This type of summary is mostly used by nonprofit organizations, governments, schools, and public companies.

 

On the other hand, informal summaries are also called Executive Summaries or Action Minutes. This type of summary is shorter than its formal counterpart because it directly shows all the points discussed during the meeting without the need for lengthy details and explanations. Regardless of its extent, other companies still favor this type for its short yet informative synopsis of discussions during the meeting.

 

Although these types of summaries have distinct differences, both are still useful and effective in keeping track of all the topics discussed in a  meeting. Each type may cater to an organization’s needs depending on how much information they require in their summaries.

 

Sample of Meeting Minutes

 

Since meeting minutes have the Formal and Informal types, one may want to check how each differs from the other. To further illustrate the difference between Standard and Executive, below would be a sample for each summary type. The first would be for the Standard type, which is usually 3-4 pages long.  

 

The Committee Foundation Meeting Summary

2021.09.03_Investment

September 3, 2021

 

Attendees:

  1. Cooper Johnson – The Committee Foundation
  2. Gabriel Garcia – Wiley Wealth Management; New committee member
  3. Mark Alexander – Chief Investment Officer of Kovak
  4. Hellen Keller – Keller Electric, retired
  5. Raymond Bush – Price Consulting
  6. Luke Cade – Bank of Pennsylvania
  7. Bruce Wane – Daily Bugle
  8. Jonathan Wick – Wick Hotels
  9. Jessica Jones – The Committee Foundation, Finance
  10. Steve Rogers

 

Agenda:

  1. To decide whether to redeem Lone Pine or Lone Jupiter at the end of the year.
  2. Performance Report

 

Meeting Summary:

  • Richard phoned in for the meeting.
  • Mike led the subject of Lone Juniper and gave a quick summary on the topic of Continental Capitals at their last meeting.
    • Steve Rogers, the founder of Continental Capitals, stepped down.
    • The foundation was offered the opportunity to get out before year-end because of the personnel change.
    • Concern that the person taking over Steve’s role would have a different approach or ideas regarding the business.
  • The next meeting will determine whether or not to keep Continental Capitals.
    • Replace with another fund of funds.
    • Replace with direct hedge fund managers.
    • They get only one chance every year to redeem funds. Otherwise, they would have to wait for the following year to discuss it again.
  • History:
    • 10% hedge fund portfolio = 70% equities, 20% bonds, 10% alternatives.
    • There was a decision to reduce the bond percentage from 30% to 20% four years ago.
    • Hedge funds were used as a bond substitute in the portfolio.
    • Most committee members did not pick hedge funds and went for three fund-of-funds: 
      • Lone Juniper, Wellington – Archipelago Fund, and Drake Capital
    • In the first quarter of this year, Drake Capital was redeemed, and a decision to fund two direct managers was made.
      • Canyon Capital, Hengistbury Partners
    • Current portfolio: Lone Juniper, Wellington – Archipelago Fund, Hengistbury Partners, and Canyon Capital.
  • They feel like with the recent addition of two hedge funds, adding another two hedge funds seems a little rushed and unnecessary.
  • There is a risk of changing for another fund of funds.
  • Steve Mendel was more important to Continental Capitals’ hedge fund than the fund-of-funds.
  • Steve’s departure is not a disaster.
  • Mike would go for all-direct instead of the fund-of-funds industry if they had $35 million because of underlying issues.
  • Mike states that if they leave Continental Capitals, they would have to decide where to put the fund.
  • They could put the money in Archipelago, but it has a one-year soft-lock.
    • Pros:
  • It takes off all the pressure points.
  • It will be easier to do in stages because of the Wellington Liquidity profile.
  • Cons:
    • A lot of capital will be in Wellington’s hands – adding an incremental equity risk to the portfolio.
    • It might negatively characterize Lone Juniper or Lone Pine.
  • Why fund-of-funds?
    • To not have a disaster occur in the portfolio.
  • The fund still paid off even though it was diversified versus fixed income.
  • Is it prudent to go away from the fund-of-fund strategy?
  • Yes. They can pick individual managers.
  • It adds value because they can be more defensive, fewer fees, and it’s dilutional.
  • How much money?
  • Approx. $200 million
  • It was created to invest the money outside of Lone Pine’s funds and let others come in and make a little money.
  • Little concern because it’s more stable.
  • A third alternative is not to buy anything.
  • Mike doesn’t like making decisions that they are not thrilled about because it would be unpleasant if something unexpected happened.

 

Others:

  • Question for next meeting: “Do we sell Lone Juniper?”

 

Next Meeting Date: Not specified

 

Next is the Executive Type. This type is shorter, usually just 1-2 pages.

 

The Committee Foundation Meeting

Executive Summary

 

Agenda:

  1. Decide on whether to redeem Lone Pine or Lone Jupiter at the end of the year.
  2. Performance Report

 

Key Points:

  • The foundation was offered the opportunity to get out before year-end because of the personnel change.
  • Concern that the person taking over Steve’s role would have a different approach or ideas regarding the business.
  • The next meeting will determine whether or not to keep Lone Pine Capital.
  • There is a risk of changing for another fund of funds.
  • Mike states that if they leave Lone Pine Capital, they would have to decide where to put the fund.
  • Why fund-of-funds? – to not have a disaster occur in the portfolio; the fund still paid off even though it was diversified to death versus fixed income.
  • Is it prudent to go away from the fund-of-fund strategy? – They can pick individual managers; it adds value because they can be more defensive, have fewer fees, and it’s dilutional.
  • How much money? – Approx. $200 million; little concern because it’s more stable.
  • Richard doesn’t want to vote on something that will not pass. He deferred to the room because he didn’t want to cause an issue for not being there.
  • Tom will repeat the motion.
  • Mike says that they don’t need 10 managers. The disadvantage of 10 managers – it would not matter to the overall portfolio if they have a 10% allocation with 10 managers.
  • Motion: Redeem from Lone Juniper, 100% at year-end? Approved: 4; Opposed: 2; Abstain: 1
  • July was a good month; the portfolio will be up a couple of percents.
  • A pretty good chunk of underperformance is from non-US strategies.
  • Non-US funds are the worst-performing.
  • Fixed income did not perform very well.
  • A hedge fund portfolio is the best performing asset, class.

 

 Others:

  • Question for next meeting: “Do we sell Lone Juniper?”

 

Next Meeting Date: Not specified

 

Conclusion

 

Meetings will always be a constant practice in all organizations. It is essential in helping to keep businesses running and address the issues, needs, and concerns among the organization members. Although it may appear that keeping track of meeting minutes is a tedious thing to do, it is still an effective practice. Meeting minutes, after all, help companies process, reference, and relay information quicker, and given how the world has evolved and continues to innovate, any corporate task can now be simplified and done efficiently.  

If you’re planning to have your meeting minutes done by transcription companies to lessen the burden on your office staff and save time and money, you may want to try TranscriptionWing’s InSummary service and have your summaries delivered in just 2-3 days.