Council of Institutional Investors

ICGN Addresses Problems with Cross-Border Proxy Voting
Thursday, August 28, 2014
by: Rosemary Lally

Section: CII Governance Alert

In its July 2014 Viewpoint, ICGN examines the following obstacles to cross-border proxy voting and offers various solutions:

• Inconsistencies between the annual meeting agenda originally issued by the company and the one ultimately received by the investor, often due to problems with translation
• Late announcements of annual meetings, making the timeframe for casting informed proxy voting decisions challenging
• The overlay of multiple fees incurred along the voting chain by intermediaries, leading to excessive costs
• Confusion between the number of share on the company register and the number of votes executed
• The absence of a commonly applied system for voting by electronic means, resulting in a time consuming process prone to errors
• The absence of a reliable vote confirmation system, leading to uncertainty

ICGN invited its members to comment on these obstacles and proposed solutions. In addition, the group’s Shareholder Rights Committee plans to submit a comment letter to the European Working Group for Market Standards for General Meetings on these issues. The committee also intends to develop a set of recommendations addressing the responsibility and accountability of those involved in the vote execution chain.
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