NEW YORK, July 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtual Shareholder Meeting (VSM) adoption is up sharply through the first six months of 2018 according to Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global fintech leader and new addition to the S&P 500 Index. Broadridge recently facilitated its 1,000th VSM at Balchem Corporation's annual shareholder meeting.
Companies are increasingly leveraging technology to provide new ways to engage with shareholders. Broadridge continues to innovate the process through a combination of data-driven insights, multi-media tactics and an omni-channel approach, that leverages print, electronic and social media.
The virtual shareholder meeting is a key part of this evolving toolkit, providing greater access and opportunity for shareholders, across the country and the world, to participate in a company's shareholder meeting. No longer does a shareholder have to travel distances or incur costs to hear from management or ask a question, thanks to virtual meetings.
"This was Balchem's first VSM and we are quite pleased with the process and the result," said Mark Stach, Balchem's General Counsel. "The support and guidance provided by Broadridge were excellent in every respect."
During the first six months of 2018, public companies hosted 212 virtual meetings, up from 180 compared to the same period in 2017. Broadridge estimates that use of this technology in 2018 will increase to 300 for the full year, or approximately a 30% increase compared to 2017. Public company use of this technology to host virtual annual shareholder meetings has grown consistently since 2009 when Broadridge introduced this new technology solution.
In addition VSMs remain available for replay for one year after the meeting date on the company's website.
"Shareholders can participate by viewing meetings, listening to discussions, asking questions, and voting their shares, all with secure technology and without the cost and time to attend in person, said Cathy Conlon, Broadridge vice president, Issuer Strategy. "Companies holding a VSM have shown increased shareholder participation at their annual meetings and this is particularly helpful for individuals who have time or economic constraints, and those who live geographically far from the meeting but would like to participate."
VSMs on the rise
In 2017, 236 companies hosted VSMs - 212 were virtual only and 24 were "hybrid" meetings, meaning both in-person and a VSM.
More than half of the companies holding virtual annual meetings in 2017 allowed non-shareholders to participate, expanding participation in the meeting to a wider audience.
Earlier this year, an industry working group called The Virtual Annual Shareowner Meetings Study Group identified five principles and 12 best practices companies should consider when managing annual shareowner meetings. The report can be viewed here: Principles and Best Practices for Virtual Annual Shareowner Meetings.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a $4 billion global fintech leader, provides investor communications and technology-driven solutions for broker-dealers, banks, asset managers and corporate issuers globally. Broadridge's investor communications, securities processing and managed services solutions help clients reduce capital investments in operations infrastructure, allowing them to increase focus on core business activities. Broadridge's infrastructure underpins proxy voting services for more than fifty percent of global public companies and mutual funds, and processes more than $5 trillion in fixed income and equity trades daily. Broadridge employs approximately 10,000 full-time associates in 16 countries. For more information about Broadridge: www.broadridge.com.
The Torrenzano Group
SOURCE Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.