Broadridge gets clients to open up about e-proxy
Feb 15, 2008
Microsoft among companies giving positive review
NEW YORK --
Among the early adopters of e-proxies are Microsoft, Sara Lee and Pharmos,
and this week they have shared their impressions in an interesting Q&A
posted on the Broadridge Financial Solutions website.
corporate counsel in each of the companies, under questioning by Chuck
Callan, SVP for corporate affairs at Broadridge, describe a generally
positive experience in moving to internet distribution of proxy materials,
detailing big cost savings, few glitches and minor impact on meeting
In the six
months 'notice and access' was available for use, only 69 companies decided
to use it in the run-up to their shareholder meetings, representing less
than 10 percent of all issuers eligible, Broadridge reports. More are
following, but many companies are taking a 'wait and see' approach because
of all the uncertainties surrounding cost, preparation time and shareholder
receptivity to this new shareholder communication option.
companies said they were prompted by cost savings and environmental
concerns. Sara Lee and Pharmos say they saved $268,000 and $130,000,
respectively, by moving to e-proxy. Microsoft IRO Dennie Kimbrough says her
company had an additional motivation: 'We wanted to be able to drive people
to the internet and use technology in this process.'
corporate development director Gale Smith says her biggest concern was
getting the proxy finalized within the earlier deadlines set by the SEC.
Companies are finding they lose about seven to ten days of prep time in
order to mail the notice 40 days in advance of the annual meeting. In the
Q&A, Microsoft raises the idea of trying to get the SEC to give back five
days on the timeline.
respondents also say the SEC rules surrounding the writing the actual notice
are too restrictive and suggest design improvements.
full paper, 'A frank discussion on notice & access: A good start and a
promising future,' will be available at
www.broadridge.com on Tuesday. Go to
'investor communications solutions,' then tab for 'corporations' and 'notice
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