Lake Success, New York – May 27, 2008 – Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) has announced today that Investor Communications Japan (ICJ), the electronic proxy voting platform implemented as part of a joint venture with the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA), now has over 300 companies participating in its state-of-the-art shareholder communications and voting service. Participating issuers include almost all major companies in Japan, representing more than 60% of the market capitalization of the TSE 1st Section, and over 75% of the Blue Chip Nikkei 225 Index. In addition to improving the voting process, ICJ is also seen as helping to improve the corporate governance structure of the Japanese capital market generally, and enhancing the governance profile of individual participating companies with their shareholders. The active participation of the TSE in this joint venture reflects their increasing awareness of the critical role that proxy voting plays in enhancing management accountability and investor rights.
ICJ was launched just over two and a half years ago in December 2005 when Broadridge, the TSE and JSDA teamed up to create an “investor friendly” platform that provided both a Japanese language voting platform with Japanese content for local Japanese investors, as well as enhanced timeliness for release of meeting agendas in English as well as critically extending voting deadlines closer to the meeting date. Based on Broadridge’s market-leading ProxyEdge® service, ICJ’s electronic platform offers an extended window of time for investors to review materials and cast their votes, lengthening the timeframe from 2-3 days to almost 14 days. This change has been critical in giving shareholders the valuable time required to properly analyze materials and make quality decisions, especially during Japan’s June voting season when over 2,000 companies hold meetings within days, if not hours, of each other.
Adding to this significant shift for Japan’s investment and issuer communities is the work of RiskMetrics Group (formerly known as Institutional Shareholder Services or ISS). As Broadridge’s close industry partner, RiskMetrics has voted ballots through the ICJ platform since its inception and is now participating on an expanded basis by providing records from custodians that utilize its Global Proxy Distribution platform. A global leader in corporate governance, RiskMetrics helps investors by promoting good corporate governance in the private sector and raising the level of responsible proxy voting among institutional investors and pension fund fiduciaries.
"We are proud of the role we’ve played in increasing foreign shareholder participation with ICJ,” said Bruce Babcock, President of ICS International for Broadridge, and a Director of ICJ. “By participating in the ICJ platform, these 300 companies are providing institutional investors with extended time for quality decision-making, consolidated voting capability, and easier and timelier access to meeting materials. The support from the investor community and from these companies participating in the platform is a testament to Japan’s interest in corporate governance issues,” Mr. Babcock continued.
Corporate issuer interest in joining the platform has continued to grow, and ICJ looks forward to the day when they have all listed issuers on the platform. “ICJ and the issuers’ commitment to investor participation, has helped Japan make great strides toward improving corporate governance,” remarked Takeo Nagatani, Chairman and CEO of ICJ. “We anticipate even greater success in accommodating corporate and investor needs via the platform as we move forward,” Mr. Nagatani continued.
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) is the leading provider of investor communications and technology-driven solutions for broker-dealers, banks, mutual funds and other corporations. Broadridge’s investor and customer communications, securities processing and managed services solutions help clients reduce their capital investments in operations infrastructure, allowing them to increase their focus on core business activities. With over 50 years of experience, Broadridge's infrastructure underpins proxy voting services for over 90% of public companies and mutual funds in North America and processes on average $5 trillion in equity and fixed income trades per day. Broadridge employs approximately 10,000 associates in 14 countries.
For more information about Broadridge, please visit www.broadridge.com.
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (http://www.tse.or.jp) is the premier exchange of Japanese cash equities and derivative products both in Japan and from a global perspective. At the end of April 2008, the number of listed Japanese companies is 2,415, and their market capitalization reaches JPY 440 trillion. In order to meet diversified needs of investors, the TSE started trading of ETFs and REITs in July 2001 and September 2001, respectively. In addition, the TSE currently offers trading and clearing of Japanese government bond futures and options, Japanese stock index futures and options, and individual equity options. With respect to these cash and derivative products, the TSE, as an SRO, continuously makes every effort for providing a fair, transparent, and efficient market.
Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) is the only corporative organization in Japan authorized by the Prime Minister under the Securities and Exchange Law, and consists of all the national securities companies and registered financial institutions (as members of the association). The purposes of the JSDA are as follows: (1) to protect investors by ensuring fair and smooth trading in securities and other transactions by members of the association; (2) to promote the implementation of policy measures for the revitalization of the Japanese securities markets in order to contribute to the growth and development of the Japanese economy; (3) to establish Over-the-Counter securities markets; and to promote the efficient circulation of securities in the markets as well as to ensure fair trading in securities and other transactions.
JC Public Relations, Inc