The new voting platform will greatly simplify the shareholder voting process for companies that choose to participate. The new platform is based on ADP's ProxyEdgeÂ® service, and will provide a Japanese language voting platform with Japanese content for local Japanese investors, as well as enhanced timeliness for release of English meeting agendas. The whole process has also been tightly integrated into ADP's existing global voting service, and will therefore provide significant benefits to the over 2,200 ADP ProxyEdge clients around the world.
Before this platform was initiated, shareholders of companies in Japan had little or no time to review meeting materials and vote in an informed manner, especially in the critical June voting season when over 2,000 companies hold meetings within days, if not hours, of each other. Now, for companies that participate on the platform, that period is extended to almost 12 full days from less than 3. "By building electronic links with all the key financial intermediaries in Japan, we have been able to eliminate all manual processing for participating companies. We now return votes cast on ProxyEdge directly via file transfer to a participating company's registrar, enabling us to set a voting deadline of noon (JST) the day before a shareholder meeting," said Bruce Babcock, president, ADP ICS Europe and Asia, and a director on the board of Investor Communications Japan (ICJ).
Issuers in Japan are strongly supportive of this new process. They recognize the value of increased global institutional shareholder participation. Koichiro Miyahara, CEO of ICJ and director of the TSE, said, âThis new service helps solve a serious impediment to proxy voting faced by investors in Japan, and is a great step forward for improving Japanese corporate governance. It also enhances the efficiency and attractiveness of Japanâs capital markets, an ongoing and key goal of the TSE.â Corporate issuer interest in joining the platform has been high, and ICJ expects to eventually have nearly 2,500 issuers on the platform.