Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., a global Fintech leader and pioneer in virtual shareholder meetings (VSM), has announced the first phase of its enhanced VSM platform. This next generation of VSMs will increase accessibility, transparency and engagement to meet the rising expectations of corporate issuers, mutual funds and shareholders. As part of the initial phase, Broadridge has made extensive investments and developed Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which will enable Broadridge to validate beneficial shareholders who log on to other virtual meeting platforms.
“Broadridge’s plan to enhance its VSM technology will include a next-gen user interface, streamlined navigation and a better experience for all participants, including management, board members and shareholders,” said Cathy Conlon, Vice President of Strategy, Product Management and Business Development, Broadridge. “As part of an industry working group examining virtual shareholder meetings, there is movement towards creating an open source validation framework to enable issuers to choose any virtual meeting platform and have their shareholders validated onto it. Broadridge is leading that effort and has made extensive investments and developed APIs that will enable this vision for the 2021 proxy season.”
Broadridge is on track to facilitate almost 2,000 VSMs in 2020, up from 326 meetings in 2019. Following the unprecedented usage of VSMs in the 2020 proxy season, Broadridge sought feedback from more than 100 VSM clients, investors and other industry constituents. As a result of this outreach, Broadridge identified three priority areas of focus and developed a comprehensive roadmap for enhancing the participant experience, company management of the meeting and the Q&A experience to provide more transparency for both issuers and shareholders. The focus on these priorities will create a better experience for all participants, including management, board members and shareholders. This new experience is expected to be rolled out over the next several months and will include:
- A next-gen user interface–streamlined navigation and enhanced video integration will enrich the experience and further engage shareholders.
- Easier meeting management–modular options, simple and intuitive controls and role-based views will enable the issuer to easily set up, manage and execute the live meeting as well as streamline the preparation process and enable dry runs and dress rehearsals more easily.
- Enhanced Q&A functionality–the new platform will enable issuers to more easily manage, organize and address shareholder questions, increase transparency and provide new options for issuers to tailor the Q&A experience for their meeting and their shareholders.
Broadridge has a long history of working with issuers, mutual funds, broker-dealers and institutional and retail investors and in investing in and leveraging technology to drive transparency and shareholder engagement. From inventing telephone proxy voting and developing online proxy voting to launching a mobile proxy voting and creating a voting app, Broadridge has proven track record of innovation, utilizing the latest technology to transform and enrich customer experience, optimize efficiencies and drive shareholder engagement. The company will continue providing shareholders with the power to vote on whichever platform they choose, including through a VSM, their broker’s app, on a desktop or mobile browser via Proxyvote.com, by phone, by mail or in-person at annual meetings.