Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) today reaffirmed its commitment to increased governance and transparency throughout the proxy voting lifecycle internationally by announcing the completion of a pilot process for vote confirmation with Santander Investment/Corporate Services in Spain. The pilot results proved that Santander Investment, in its role as a share registrar, accurately received a range of voting instructions through the legal chain of intermediaries including both global and sub-custodians, and was able to confirm that the shares voted were executed at the meeting.
“End-to-end vote confirmation has become an important area of focus within capital markets, and presents an opportunity for greater integrity throughout the overall proxy process, which in turn will lead to improved investor confidence,” said Elizabeth Maiellano, Senior Director Product Strategy, Broadridge, and leader of the global team building Broadridge’s vote transparency solution. “Wherever possible, Broadridge is looking for opportunities where its solutions and domain expertise can help raise the level of transparency and remove any ambiguity concerning vote statuses.”
The pilot took place during 2013 proxy season and, together with Broadridge, it included the participation of six custodians that use Broadridge’s Global Proxy Management service; Santander Investment in its role as registrar for Spanish share-issuing companies; and three participating issuers. “Broadridge has harnessed its relationships throughout the voting chain to help bring incremental transparency to the international markets,” said Patricia Rosch, President, Investor Communication Solutions International, Broadridge. “We are making plans to continue support for this pilot in the 2014 proxy season, in both Spain and other international markets.”
The Broadridge solution enabled Santander Investment’s registrar service to receive shareholder votes via the local sub-custodian network in line with normal practice, and additionally receive local level account voting activity direct from Broadridge, enabling Santander to reconcile and confirm votes at proposal level for each sub-custody account. After reconciliation, Broadridge was in a position to provide vote confirmation to other participants in the voting chain.