Mobile proxy voting took another step forward last week with the launch of a new service from BNY Mellon Shareowner Services that allows shareholders to vote via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
The launch is the first step of a mobile strategy by BNY Mellon, which plans to add new services later this year, making corporate documents such as proxy forms and annual reports available to mobile internet users.
BNY Mellon, which managed more than 600 annual meetings this year, says around a third of the votes it processed were delivered electronically, so mobile solutions are a logical development for companies and investors.
The launch by BNY Mellon follows a similar move by Broadridge Financial Solutions in March, when it made its online voting system accessible through mobile devices.
‘Giving investors the option of using their mobile device makes proxy voting more convenient, and thereby increases and facilitates shareholder participation,’ says Kevin Brennan, head of sales, marketing and communications at BNY Mellon Shareowner Services, in a release.
While mobile voting options are increasing for shareholders, the physical annual meeting continues to decline in size and relevance. A survey of the annual meetings managed by BNY Mellon this year shows physical meetings saw more ‘downsizing’.
In one example of this, 94 per cent of meetings were held at company offices this year, compared with 53 per cent in 2010.
[Article by Tim Human, Inside Investor Relations]