Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader, announces that it will provide end-to-end proxy vote confirmation this year to all shareholders in the annual meetings of the 2,000+ U.S. public companies whose votes it tabulates.
Broadridge’s enhancements to the proxy voting process were developed in conjunction with an industry Working Group led by the Society for Corporate Governance and the Council of Institutional Investors, and involving representatives of custodian banks, broker-dealers, issuers, institutional investors, other proxy tabulators, transfer agents, and the proxy services provider community.
Broadridge’s announcement expands upon the commitment made by Working Group members to provide vote confirmation for meetings of all Fortune 500 companies. In total, Broadridge expects to provide the added level of assurance to the shareholders of more than 2,000 companies for annual meetings in 2022.
“Participation in proxy voting is essential to corporate governance,” said Bob Schifellite, President of Broadridge’s Investor Communication Solutions business. “Working together under the leadership of the Society for Corporate Governance and the Council of Institutional Investors, members of the U.S. proxy ecosystem committed to providing shareholders with even greater levels of assurance and trust that their votes are counted as cast,” he said.
The new protocols include a pilot of the mechanics of early-stage voting entitlement reconciliation, consistent with recommendations of the Working Group.
Early-stage voting entitlement reconciliation ensures that any discrepancies between the records held by tabulators and those of banks and brokers will be addressed well in advance of a shareholder meeting, so that every share that is duly held and cast will be included in the final vote tally. The pilot will test and refine the new reconciliation protocols across 20 annual meetings of the Fortune 500.
“We are grateful for the cooperation of the members of the Working Group, and we look forward to a process whereby last-minute rejections or corrections of shareholder votes will be minimized,” said Darla Stuckey, President and CEO of the Society for Corporate Governance. “We look forward to building on the group’s efforts to expand end-to-end vote confirmation in 2023 and beyond.”