Award will recognise platforms helping shareholders exercise their rights.
The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has launched a Shareholder Engagement Award for the platform that best helps shareholders in investment companies exercise their rights. Core shareholder rights include voting, attending annual general meetings (AGMs) and participating in corporate actions.
The award will be judged by platform specialists, the lang cat, with entrants scored in four main categories (details below). The winner will be announced in September.
The AIC has launched the award to encourage direct-to-consumer (D2C) platforms to drive higher levels of shareholder engagement among their customers by improving their processes around shareholder voting, AGM attendance and corporate actions. Platforms will also be recognised for making it easy for shareholders to access important documents and data about their investments.
Ian Sayers, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “The right to vote is one of the main benefits of investing in an investment company. Unlike investors in other collectives, shareholders get a say in how their company is run, and have the chance to make their voice heard at AGMs.
“However, not all investors realise how to vote or take part in AGMs when they hold their shares through a platform. We have launched the AIC Shareholder Engagement Award to reward and recognise the platforms that do the best job of enabling shareholders to exercise their rights.”
Steve Nelson, Insight Director at the lang cat, said: “More investment company shareholders than ever hold their shares through platforms, so we think it’s important that those platforms make it as easy as possible for shareholders to have their say.
“We will be looking at a wide range of criteria to judge this award, with scores for each aspect of shareholder engagement entered into a scoring matrix to help us reach our decision. It’s not just about the winner – it’s also about recognising good practice wherever we find it, as well as highlighting areas where there is room for improvement across the sector.”
The award is open to direct-to-consumer (D2C) investment platforms. The judging will focus on four main areas:
- Shareholder voting. How well does the platform facilitate shareholder voting?
- AGM participation. How well does the platform facilitate participation in annual general meetings (AGMs) for shareholders of investment companies?
- Corporate actions. How efficiently and effectively does the platform notify shareholders about corporate actions, and enable them to respond where necessary?
- Documents and data. How well do platforms display investment company documents (such as annual reports) and data?
All participating platforms will be given a full breakdown of how they scored in the various areas, so that they can further enhance their offering and processes in future. A submission framework for platforms is now available.