TOKYO, JAPAN, June 4, 2019 – Investor Communications Japan (ICJ), a joint venture of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader that is part of the S&P 500® Index, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. (TSE), announced today that the number of share-issuing companies on its electronic proxy voting platform has surpassed 1,000 ahead of Japan’s proxy season starting in June.
Focused on continuing to improve corporate governance, the ICJ platform offers enhanced communication between Japanese issuers and global investors; a fully automated reconciliation between registered shareholder positions and underlying beneficial owner positions; and a voting deadline for underlying shareholders of one calendar day prior to meeting date. 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. Adoption has been growing by an average 17% annually for the last five years.
“The continued adoption of electronic proxy platforms by Japanese public companies underscores the efforts underway to improve transparency and shareholder engagement throughout the proxy voting life cycle,” said ICJ President, Shigeo Imakiire. “Our platform leverages Broadridge’s sophisticated digital voting, record keeping and reconciliation technologies. During this year’s proxy season in Japan, we expect to see more companies integrate these solutions into their approach to maintaining corporate governance standards.”
The ICJ platform helps listed companies engage constructively with institutional investors by providing the opportunity for well-informed engagement before, during and after shareholder meetings.
Current ICJ-participating corporate issuers represent 85% of TSE-listed companies by market capitalization, 98% of Nikkei 225 index constituents and 89% of Japan Exchange Group (JPX)-Nikkei Index 400 constituents. The long-term outlook for growing adoption of electronic voting in Japan is highly positive, in line with other major capital markets like the U.S., where Broadridge processes over 90% of all proxy votes on its digital platform.
“Broadridge is proud to support ICJ with innovative technology solutions that promote greater issuer and shareholder participation,” said Broadridge's Investor Communication Solutions President, Bob Schifellite. “This is in line with our overall strategy of delivering leading digital solutions that set the standard of proxy communications and voting.”
As part of its investor communication services, Broadridge is also working across Asia Pacific to help market participants meet new regulations such as the updated Shareholder Rights Directive. Broadridge is building a comprehensive solution using blockchain-based technology and engaged with custodians, banks, brokers and market service providers such as central securities depositories (CSDs) and stock exchanges to meet regulatory obligations and corporate governance standards.