Investor Communications Japan (ICJ), a joint venture by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. (TSE), announced today that the number of share-issuing companies on its electronic proxy voting platform (the Platform) has exceeded 1,700 listings, an increase of 499 companies since June 2021.
As of June 2022, over 1,600 companies listed on the Prime Market of the TSE participate in the Platform, representing 87% of the companies in that market or 98% by market capitalization. In addition, over 100 companies listed on the Standard Market and over 20 companies listed on the Growth Market participate in the Platform, and in June of this year, over 1,200 of all companies listed on the TSE that held general meetings of shareholders participated in the Platform (up by over 300 companies).
"Increasing numbers of listed companies and institutional investors are seeking to ensure sufficient time to exercise voting rights based on constructive dialogue and the Platform better enables this process," said ICJ President, Shigeo Imakiire. "This increase in companies joining the Platform is proof that the voting environment has dramatically improved to facilitate the objectives of Japan's Corporate Governance and Stewardship codes."
"ICJ will continue working to strengthen the competitiveness of Japan's capital markets and advance corporate governance through the digitalization of general shareholder meeting processes. ICJ aims to support effective dialogue between companies and investors, and the realization of greater operational efficiency and provision of valuable services for general shareholder meeting participants."
Digitizing and Streamlining
"Broadridge is proud to support the ongoing growth of electronic proxy voting in Japan, by providing innovative digital technology solutions to benefit issuers and investors and help modernize the industry," said Demi Derem, managing director of International Investor Communication Solutions at Broadridge. "Through our collaboration in the Japan market, we enable greater issuer and shareholder participation, market wide transparency, and set the standard for proxy communications and voting."
The ICJ Platform digitizes the processes of general shareholders meetings to streamline operations and contribute to the competitiveness of Japan's capital markets. It helps listed companies engage constructively with institutional investors by providing the opportunity for well-informed engagement before, during, and after shareholder meetings.
Listed Japanese companies using the platform increased substantially following its March 2006 launch and accelerated after the implementation of the Corporate Governance Code in 2015 and the recommendation to use the Platform by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Study Group on Promoting Electronification of Processes for Shareholder Meetings in 2016.
More recently, a revision made to the Corporate Governance Code in 2021 that requests Prime Market-listed companies promote the use of electronic voting platforms further accelerated this trend. After almost 18 years, the Platform has become a key part of the infrastructure of Japan's capital markets.
ICJ is part of Broadridge's local market commitments to enhance corporate governance and increase shareholder democracy at a national level in markets around the world. Broadridge's infrastructure serves as a global communications hub, enabling higher standards of corporate governance and investor stewardship by linking thousands of public companies and mutual funds to tens of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world.