January 23, 2015

Our New “Proxy Advisors Handbook”

Spanking brand new. By popular demand, this comprehensive “Proxy Advisors Handbook” covers all you need to know about dealing with ISS and Glass Lewis (it’s now posted on our “Proxy Advisors” Practice Area). This one is a real gem – 32 pages of practical guidance.

Virtual Annual Meetings: Flat Growth Rate From Last Year

Last year, I blogged about the huge leap in the number of companies holding virtual-only annual meetings – 99 during 2013. Here’s an excerpt from the Broadridge Independent Steering Committee newsletter about how these meetings fared in 2014:

Broadridge reported that approximately 93 companies held Virtual Shareholder Meetings (VSMs) in 2014. Of these, 46% were “hybrid”, or a combination of a physical and an on-line meeting, while 54% were on-line only. Of these meetings, 83% of the meetings used an audio broadcast only, while 17% used a video and audio broadcast, The Committee was reminded that for a company to host a VSM, the shareholders must be able to vote during the meeting, see or hear the proceedings contemporaneously, and be able to ask questions or make remarks which can be heard by other shareholders. Broadridge then described a VSM that they conducted during 2014 that experienced organized cyber-attacks and the use of disruptive technology in an attempt to “trash” the meeting. By using extensive countermeasures, Broadridge was able to repel the attacks and the client’s VSM was successfully conducted.

Status: End-to-End Vote Confirmation Project

Here’s an excerpt from the Broadridge Independent Steering Committee newsletter about how the project to provide end-to-end vote confirmations is coming along:

The Steering Committee received a report on the 2014 End-to-End Vote Confirmation Pilot Program in which 26 US corporations participated. Approximately 490,000 shareholder accounts received vote confirmation during this program. The vote confirmation process revealed that a nominal amount of shares (0.11%) were not reconciled and therefore not voted. Some members of the working group questioned the return on investment of further enhancements to the reconciling process for such a small number of un-voted shares. However, the institutional investor members of the Steering Committee expressed the importance of achieving full and precise end-to-end vote confirmation for all US corporations, regarding exactness in voting as an essential element in establishing the certainty and integrity of the shareholder voting system.

– Broc Romanek