Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. has announced that Investor Communications Japan (ICJ), a joint venture of Broadridge and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE), has exceeded 800 participating share-issuing companies on its “electronic proxy voting platform” (hereafter referred to as the “ICJ platform”). There were 834 issuers on the platform as of 2 May 2017, which represents 80% growth over the past three years.
Operating in Japan, the ICJ platform contributes to realising a constructive dialogue between listed companies and institutional investors, and helps to promote high standards of corporate governance. The ICJ platform connects stakeholders involved in a given shareholder meeting, utilises Broadridge’s sophisticated internet voting, record keeping and reconciliation technologies, managing communication flows between participating companies and institutional investors, the ICJ platform ensures efficient and accurate voting.
“We are very proud to have passed the 800-issuer milestone for the ICJ platform. As a key offering of our global solutions, we aim to continue to enhance platform functionality to facilitate open communication between listed companies and shareholders,” said Patricia Rosch, Global President of Investor Communications Solutions (ICS) for Broadridge.
Current users include 87% of TSE-listed companies in terms of market capitalisation, 97% of Nikkei 225 index constituents and 84% of Japan Exchange Group (JPX)-Nikkei Index 400 constituents. Broadridge supported 60,776 proxy meetings in Global Markets in 2016, with Issuers located in 119 countries.
“Surpassing 800 issuers is a great achievement for ICJ,” said Demi Derem, General Manager of ICS for Broadridge. “In June 2016, the annual peak season for AGMs in Japan, the platform processed 38% of all voting proxy shares for participating issuers. We anticipate an even higher usage rate this year.”
On the corporate side, the ICJ platform gives issuers insight and analytics regarding the proxy voting process and enables them to provide timely materials to institutional investors even in the days before a shareholder meeting begins. Similarly, the platform benefits institutional investors by enabling them to review additional information provided by the company and (re)cast their votes based on the most updated information up through the day prior to the meeting.
Rapid growth in the number of participating issuers on the platform has been driven in part by the 2015 introduction of Japan’s Corporate Governance Code. The new code encourages issuers to improve their proxy voting practices regardless of their market capitalisation and level of institutional ownership.