Broadridge launches mobile voting platform
Shareholders are about to get a new way to vote their shares. Broadridge Financial Services will be making its ProxyVote.com tool available on cell phones and mobile devices in early 2011.
Joe Vicari, vice president, business strategy and development, believes the new functionality will encourage more shareholders to vote in annual elections and enhance the ability of companies to communicate with investors. ‘The sophisticated graphical user interface is customized to be used with an array of mobile devices - including the market leading iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry smartphones, and Android? phones - and will seamlessly integrate with Broadridge’s ProxyVote.com platform,’ he stated.
The platform is an optimized version of the ProxyVote.com website. It is optimized for mobile devices and we have a database of 8000 different devices so upon entry to the mobile ProxyVote platform the system will detect what device and operating system is being used and present the service in the most appropriate manner. This will allow effective navigation and make voting easier.
‘What is different is that, for all intents and purposes, it was not previously possible to vote using a mobile device,’ explains Chuck Callan, senior vice president, regulatory affairs at Broadridge. While it has always theoretically been possible to access voting sites from a web enabled phone, the functionality made it very difficult to read and navigate the site, thus rendering voting extremely difficult. With this new optimized functionality, which operates in a similar fashion to a regular ‘app’ viewing and navigating is much easier and more efficient.
According to Broadridge email delivery of proxy materials is growing exponentially, with almost 78 million deliveries in the year ended June 30, 2010. As more and more companies move toward notice and access and utilize electronic delivery for proxy materials and annual filings it is likely that this number will continue to rise.
‘People are receiving communications more and more through mobile devices. They expect to do the transactions that follow that on the device they are using. This is all about investor participation. If some receives and email on a mobile device but then has to go to a personal computer to vote we are likely to lose them,’ explains Vicari. So this is really all about participation, especially at the retail level.
The service will be rolled out during the first quarter of 2011 making it available for the majority of the season’s annual meetings.