WASHINGTON — February 22, 2012 — In remarks before the National Press Club (NPC) this morning, the chief executive of the nation's largest shareholder communications company called on private sector CEOs to work together to build confidence in the U.S. economy by inviting all share owners to participate in corporate governance. This is the second such appearance Richard J. Daly, chief executive officer,Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR), has made at the NPC in support of a campaign to improve proxy voting rates by individual investors.
Mr. Daly explained that, "Millions of individuals vote for a favorite American Idol, even though this has no impact on their financial well being. Yet many of these same people fail to avail themselves of important information on their investments, and fail to exercise their fundamental right to vote their proxies. It is counterintuitive," he said, "because greater transparency and participation have greater relevance to their financial security and the financial well being of their families."
Mr. Daly went on to encourage CEOs to use their influence to remind their employees to vote their shares – "not only in the companies in which they are employed but in all companies whose shares they may own."
As a result of new technologies implemented since his similar speech a year ago, "Shareholders are afforded unprecedented levels of transparency, and far greater convenience, to participate in matters of corporate governance, including voting at annual shareholder meetings," he stated. Mr. Daly pointed out that nearly 500,000 individual investors used Broadridge's smart phone and tablet computer voting solution, http://mobile.proxyvote.com since its launch last March and, of this number, he noted that approximately one-third were first-time voters. He also mentioned the growing use of shareholder forums and virtual shareholder meetings.
He stated Broadridge is committed to making the investments in technology necessary to make proxy voting easier and more accessible, and he mentioned as another example the firm's upcoming implementation of support for QR codes to provide shareholders with easier access via their smart phones and tablet computers to proxy ballots and company communications.
As part of the effort, Mr. Daly is contacting the chief executives of America's top 1,000 public companies and other leaders, such as NYSE/Euronext and the National Association of Corporate Directors. He specifically cited the leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission in recognizing and supporting the wider use of technology for proxy voting.
According to the company, the number of shares voted has no effect on Broadridge's revenue.