In response to the European Commission’s updated Shareholder Rights Directive, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader and part of the S&P 500® Index, has announced details of its extended solution to support both institutional- and retail-focused intermediaries for global proxy voting. The new offering includes a range of process enhancements and a new blockchain-based platform for shareholder disclosure. In addition, firms supporting retail and private wealth clients will now be able to distribute proxy materials to these retail clients through electronic distribution, including mobile devices.
Working with custodian clients, banks, brokers and other market service providers, Broadridge is leveraging its global proxy voting infrastructure and vantage point across the shareholder communication value chain to help intermediaries navigate their new responsibilities under the Directive. This support will include: the distribution of meeting agendas within stricter timeframes, reconciling votes on a daily basis and processing votes “without delay.” It will also handle all aspects of vote confirmation, including timely electronic confirmation of receipt and the post-meeting recording and counting of votes in all markets.
Distribution to Retail Shareholders
Broadridge’s solution for the distribution of meeting notices to retail shareholders and voting includes electronic distribution and voting through a choice of channels including email, access via a bank or broker website, branded portal, and Apple and Android apps, as well as physical mail.
Blockchain-Based Shareholder Disclosure Platform
Broadridge is using blockchain technology to build an EU market-wide shareholder disclosure platform to enable intermediaries to fulfil their disclosure obligations. This will help address a significant aspect of the Directive which will entitle EU-based issuers to obtain the identity of their shareholders. This requires intermediaries holding an issuer’s shares to provide shareholder disclosure within 24 hours of receiving a disclosure request.
“Broadridge is committed to helping firms meet their compliance objectives,” said Demi Derem, General Manager, Investor Communication Solutions International, Broadridge. “The updated Shareholder Rights Directive is the most comprehensive change to European corporate governance standards and processes in many years. As a neutral and independent service provider, Broadridge is focused on continually raising governance and transparency standards throughout the shareholder voting network.”
The Directive is designed to achieve greater transparency in corporate governance and improved shareholder engagement. Its Implementing Regulation is due to be transposed into national law in EU member states by September 3, 2020, at which point financial intermediaries and other participants in the proxy voting lifecycle will need to be compliant. The Directive’s scope will extend beyond the EU, impacting intermediaries domiciled outside of the region if they hold shares in EU-based issuers listed on regulated EU markets.
Broadridge continues to maintain a proactive approach to the Shareholder Rights Directive, engaging with industry authorities and market participants throughout the investor communications lifecycle, through participation at industry forums and hosted thought leadership events. The latest edition in a succession of industry reports by Broadridge is titled Shareholder Rights Directive: Everything You Need to Know.