A new web-based, cross-border voting platform has been launched to grant shareholders a right to vote at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of non-domestic companies, according to Brussels-based Euroshareholders, the organisation of European shareholders’ associations.
‘Individual shareholders are eager to exercise their rights and take their responsibilities as owners of listed companies,’ says Jella Benner-Heinacher, president of Euroshareholders.
Euroshareholders’ new proxy voting platform, EuroVote, will allow shareholders to transfer their proxies to the shareholder association of the country where the meeting is taking place. The organisation can then vote on behalf of shareholders who cannot be present.
The new service, which is free of charge to shareholders, is restricted to companies that are part of the Euro Stoxx 50 Index.
Currently, retail investors are prohibited from voting at non-domestic AGMs by the custodian holding their shares, or charged a high fee to do so, the Financial Times reports.
As the EuroVote season is set to kick off later this week, the association hopes small investors will now have a voice regarding company management.
‘This will further improve the checks and balances within companies,’ Euroshareholders claims.