March 24, 2014

Broadridge Updates Its VIF Guidelines

To deal with space constraints on voting instruction forms, Broadridge’s Independent Steering Committee recently approved these updated VIF guidelines, updating the original guidelines I blogged about before.

Under the revised guidelines, if Broadridge receives a VIF from a company that has too much language to neatly fit, they will inform the company within 24 hours – and then the company has 3 choices:

1. Direct Broadridge to follow the guidelines about how to pare back the text
2. Submit revised edited language so that it meets the space requirements
3. Request Broadridge to use the lengthy text as originally provided – a Custom VIF – with an extra processing cost incurred

Broadridge Rolls Out More Proxy Cards/VIFs with QR Codes: Mobile Voting Growing Fast for Retail Holders

Recently, Broadridge posted its stats for the ’13 proxy season. Last proxy season, Broadridge rolled out the use of QR codes on proxy card and VIFs, with each QR code being personalized (meaning embedded in the code is the personalized and secure Control Number that is associated with the account’s position). Last year, a handful of companies participated in the pilot – about 1,000 investors used it out of about 1.1 million notices mailed with QR codes printed on them. This proxy season, the number of pilot companies was closer to two dozen.

QR codes appear to be a natural extension of Broadridge’s Mobile ProxyVote since scanning a QR code with a mobile device brings the investor directly to the agenda to vote. Mobile ProxyVote is a version of ProxyVote that is gaining in popularity with about 826,000 accounts voted this proxy season – twice as many as last year. Mobile voting represented about 8% of all positions voted via Broadridge’s Internet platforms for retail shareholders.

Recently, Forbes ran this article entitled “The Broad Reach Of Broadridge, The Most Important Financial Firm You’ve Never Heard Of.”

More on our “Proxy Season Blog”

I continue to post new items regularly on our “Proxy Season Blog” for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– Shareholder Proposals: “Enhanced” Confidential Voting Policies & Interim Vote Tallies
– 2013 Foxhole of the Year Winner
– Shareholder Proposals: DTC Changes Its Participant List
– Recap: SEC’s Proxy Advisors Roundtable
– The Role of Shareholder Proposals: Ending Apartheid
– Icahn Tweets Intention to Submit Shareholder Proposal at Apple

– Broc Romanek