LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 27, 2012 —Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) recently announced the 110th meeting on its Virtual Shareholder Meeting platform, a service that enables corporations to conduct annual meetings with their shareholders electronically, via streaming audio or video.
Each year, greater numbers of companies have conducted meetings online or provided for online participation, along with scaled down in-person meetings. Most states now have updated statutes to reflect the potential of these emerging technologies. Companies of all sizes are offering online meeting participation – including Best Buy, Dell, Intel, NYSE Euronext, Calix, Location Based Technologies and Trans Energy. Growth is expected to continue as further enhancements and options are added to the product.
“Technology is creating more options for corporate issuers to lower annual meeting costs and provide greater convenience to shareholders,” said Cathy Conlon, Vice President of Strategic Development, Broadridge. “The Virtual Shareholder Meeting service provides a secure, easy-to-use solution for companies and their shareholders, regardless of location.”
A recent white paper by a working group of institutional investors, corporate issuers, financial intermediaries and legal experts recommended best practices for the use of such technologies. “Guidelines for Protecting and Enhancing Online Shareholder Participation in Annual Meetings” defines a number of practical safeguards for issuers and their shareholders to consider when deciding if virtual meetings are appropriate for them, including establishing procedures to validate participants as shareholders and facilitating accurate online voting. A goal of the guidelines is to make virtual meetings more accessible, transparent and efficient, and to enhance shareholder engagement. To accomplish this, the working group encourages companies to display questions submitted by shareholders both before and during a meeting so participants can view them, and to provide a telephone connection for remote participants to ask questions live.