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VOTACCESS: Version III ready for 2014 general meetings

After meeting with great success during previous voting campaigns, Version III of VOTACCESS, the platform for collecting shareholders' electronic votes prior to general meetings, is available for the 2014 season. 

The launch of VOTACCESS at the end of 2011 was initiated by the French Association of Securities Professionals (AFTI), and since then the number of issuing companies signing up for the platform has continued to increase, from six in 2012 to 25 in 2013.

While already half of the companies listed on the CAC40 chose VOTACCESS for their 2013 general meetings, the aim is to have new issuers from the CAC40 and SBF250 sign up every season. The 2014 season is already looking very promising in this regard.

All the major banking networks are now connected to VOTACCESS. The platform has demonstrated its reliability and robustness, and feedback from shareholders regarding its ease of use has been extremely positive. The platform's success is helping to promote shareholder democracy.

New features of Version III

Every year, the platform is upgraded to meet the needs of a growing number of issuers and shareholder types.
For example, two of the most notable new features of the 2014 edition are:

• inclusion of votes of those who hold units in French employee savings schemes (FCPEs): already compatible with bearer  and registered forms of unitholding, VOTACCESS now allows indirect unitholders via FCPEs to vote,
• voting screens now available to shareholders in four more languages, bringing the total number of available languages to six: French, English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Italian.

VOTACCESS: an innovative initiative from AFTI, operated by SLIB

AFTI delegated the task of creating and managing the VOTACCESS platform to software publisher SLIB. The platform has been operational since 2011.

Shareholders of listed companies that have chosen to use this platform may, under certain conditions, transmit their voting instructions electronically to VOTACCESS in the form of highly secure electronic data.

After viewing digital documents made available to them within the platform, shareholders can:

• vote directly on resolutions proposed by the AGM,
• designate an authorised representative,
• request an attendance card.

By the same token, shareholders' voting instructions sent by mail are scanned by the account holders as soon as they are received. They are then recorded in VOTACCESS, allowing fully automated centralisation.

The benefit of this initiative for issuers is that it encourages many more shareholders to vote.

Furthermore, issuers are safeguarding the environment by disseminating information and collecting shareholder votes entirely electronically.

VOTACCESS is a trademark of SLIB.