Understanding the proxy voting process is easier than you think. This list contains answers to questions that we often hear from investors and should help you better understand the process.
Corporate elections give shareholders the right to influence corporate governance by voting on the board of directors and other issues related to corporate policy and organization.
A combination of state incorporation laws and stocks exchange rules require corporations to hold annual elections for directors.
Most companies hold meetings and elections at least once a year, and most of these annual meetings occur between March and June.
U.S. public companies set what is known as a "record date” and those who own the company's shares on that record date have the right to vote. It usually takes three days for a securities transaction to settle, so if you’re interested in being a shareowner on the record date you should purchase the company's stock at least three days prior to the record date.
Shareholders may vote at a shareholder meeting by attending in person. Most shareholders, however, vote by "proxy" without being present in person.
A proxy is like an absentee ballot that enables shareholders to vote without physically attending the in-person shareholder meeting. Technically, a proxy gives someone else (usually management) instructions to cast their vote on their behalf.
If you own shares of the company on the record date, the company (or your broker or bank) will send you one of the following communications:
If you have given consent to receive information electronically, you should receive this correspondence via email.
Typically, a company will allow you to vote in one or more of the following ways:
If you hold shares directly with the company then that company will send you materials permitting attendance. Otherwise, your bank broker-dealer will send participation materials.
Yes, but the change must be submitted in time to be recorded by the company and before the close of the election. Check with the company or your broker to find out when the polls close.