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Press Release

New Retail Investor Insights Unveiled as Companies Seek Greater Understanding of Their Shareholder Base, According to New Report from Broadridge and PwC US

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2016Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR) and PwC’s Governance Insights Center today released their ProxyPulse™ report for the 2016 proxy season analyzing data from 4,200 U.S. public company annual shareholder meetings held between January 1 and June 30, 2016.

According to the report, companies have been seeking a greater understanding of their retail shareholder base, including key demographic attributes. Some of the findings from the report include:

  • People under the age of 40 years old represent 20 percent of U.S. shareholders compared to 31 percent of the U.S. population
  • 22 percent of U.S. shareholders have a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the U.S. population
  • Sixty percent of U.S. shareholders are active investors compared to 30 percent of the U.S. population
  • 38 percent of U.S. shareholders are Republican while 31 percent of U.S. shareholders are Democrats

The ProxyPulse analysis showed on average, institutions voted 91 percent of their shares, while retail investors voted only 28 percent, leaving 24 billion retail shares unvoted.

“A number of companies that have come under pressure over the past few months from large institutional investors or activist investors have looked to target an untapped segment for many – retail shareholders,” said Paul DeNicola, managing director of PwC’s Governance Insights Center. “This latest edition of the ProxyPulse report provides new data on the demographic makeup of retail shareholders as companies look to better understand their entire shareholder base.”

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Of the 69 proxy access proposals that went to vote, 60 percent achieved majority support; retail shareholders cast 85 percent of their voted shares against proxy access
  • Institutional ownership of shares in street name increased to 70 percent from 68 percent for the same period last year
  • While average shareholder support for directors was 96 percent, 382 directors failed to obtain majority support this season
  • For say-on-pay, approximately 11 percent of companies did not surpass the 70 percent shareholder threshold this season 

“Say-on-pay continues to foster discussion between companies and their shareholders, as there was more direct dialogue between directors and investors about executive compensation,” said Chuck Callan, senior vice president, regulatory affairs, Broadridge. “Yet, the ProxyPulse™ report shows some public companies continue to fall short of important benchmarks for say-on pay-support, ” he concluded.

About ProxyPulse

ProxyPulse is based in part on Broadridge’ s processing of shares held in street name, which accounts for over 80 percent of all shares outstanding of U.S. publicly-listed companies. Shareholder voting trends during a proxy season represent a snapshot in time and may not be predictive of full-year results.

ProxyPulse is a collaboration between Broadridge, the leading provider of investor communications solutions and PwC’s Governance Insights Center, a group that supports directors and investors with governance knowledge. Visit to access the full report.

About PwC US

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you, please visit:

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

About PwC’s Governance Insights Center

PwC’s Governance Insights Center supports directors and investors with governance knowledge to answer tough questions and tackle complex challenges. Learn from our network of subject-matter experts, business leaders, and experienced peers as they share their insights and the latest thinking on current issues. Beyond governance, we help directors and investors better understand new financial accounting standards so they can make better oversight and investment decisions. The center connects all the dots for a more complete perspective. For more information, please visit:


About Broadridge

Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE: BR), a global Fintech leader with more than $6 billion in revenues, provides the critical infrastructure that powers investing, corporate governance and communications to enable better financial lives. We deliver technology-driven solutions that drive business transformation for banks, broker-dealers, asset and wealth managers and public companies. Broadridge’s infrastructure serves as a global communications hub enabling corporate governance by linking thousands of public companies and mutual funds to tens of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world. Our technology and operations platforms underpin the daily trading of more than U.S. $10 trillion of equities, fixed income and other securities globally. A certified Great Place to Work®, Broadridge is part of the S&P 500® Index, employing over 14,000 associates in 21 countries.

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