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Shareholder voting - Adviser Platforms

The AIC has asked the lang cat, a platform consultancy, to provide up-to-date information on how to vote investment company shares held on platforms.

If you invest with a financial adviser and would like to vote your investment company shares please do consult your adviser as to how to go about it.

  Does the platform facilitate shareholder votes? Is there a cost associated with this? Do the shares have to be voted by the adviser or can they be voted directly by the client?  What is the process for instructing the platform? What information needs to be provided? What if the client has separate accounts? (ISA, SIPP, etc.) How much advance notice does the platform need? Further information provided by the platform 
AJ Bell Investcentre Yes No cost Instructions to vote can be submitted by the client or the adviser.

Clients or their adviser can submit their voting instructions via telephone or direct message or they can request a letter of representation to attend AGMs to cast their vote (only the customer can actually attend the AGM).

Account number, shareholding and voting instruction.

Clients do not need to notify for each account.

As much notice as possible but at least 5 days. n/a
Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) Customers can ask ATS to:
− vote on any company or fund resolutions on their behalf (as long as there is a right to vote and the customer gives ATS clear instructions on how they want ATS to vote)
− arrange for a customer to attend a company or fund meeting in person (as a non-voting guest).
No cost The adviser can provide this information as long as the adviser has the relevant permissions. Customers can call, email , write a letter informing ATS that they wish to vote. Aside from providing security questions , customers need to provide a clear instruction on how they would wish ATS to vote on their behalf.  Customers do not need to notify for each account. ATS needs to have the information to the registrar 48 hours prior to the vote so customers need to ensure they have their intentions with ATS prior to this.  n/a
Ascentric Ascentric accepts voting instructions but do not offer a voting service. No cost Advised clients can vote directly or through their adviser after consultation. Ascentric accepts letters from clients and/or emails from advisers. Account Number, wrapper, name of asset and/or ISIN number of shares and the voting elections. Customers need to specify wrapper. Anytime between meeting announcement and the absolute latest of 5 working days before the meeting. Voting instructions are normally carried out within 10 working days from receipt. n/a
FundsNetwork No, but a new solution will be live in the coming months which will allow investors to vote on all investment trust holdings. Information refers to FundsNetwork's planned new solution  
No cost Can only be voted by client. Adviser cannot vote presently. Customer must opt in to the shareholders rights service online, from here customers will receive notifications of meetings for asset they hold, customers can then vote online for all resolution under discussion in that AGM. Nothing extra required once customers opted in. Doesn’t matter - customers can vote for all accounts. Example timings might work as follows - customer notified on 16th of month, meeting is 28th of the month, vote deadline day is 22nd of the month. n/a
Raymond James Yes £30 if at least 5 business days’ notice is given; £50 if there is less than 5 business days’ notice. If proxy voting card required, the client will need to complete and sign it.  The investor will contact their wealth manager  to notify them they wish to vote on a particular issue as a shareholder. The client or wealth manager will obtain the proxy voting card typically from the relevant company’s website, the client will complete the card and provide to the wealth manager.  The wealth manager will provide Raymond James the completed proxy card, the relevant client name and account number, name/SEDOL of the relevant holding, amount of shares held, the date of the meeting and confirm how the client wishes Raymond James to vote on his/her behalf.  Same process but details confirmed for each specific account which holds the relevant shareholding. Normally 5 days' notice needed, but we will process on best endeavours basis for less than 5 days.  Raymond James has procedures on the internal portal the  wealth managers refer to.
Transact Yes but the client/advisers will need to contact Transact ahead of the AGM. Transact doesn't send out a notification as the information is publicly available.  No cost Adviser or client Call or secure email to CSM team. Contact Transact in  good time ahead of the meeting, stating number of shares held and which way client/adviser wants to vote on each resolution. Number of shares client hold and which way the client/adviser wants to vote on each resolution. Doesn't matter, just provide total number of shares held across all wrappers. The time in advance varies from company to company but Transact  normally needs to know at least 2-3 days in advance of the meeting.  Transact doesn't send out general meeting information, the client will need to look when the AGMs are on the various company meetings.

Source: AIC/the lang cat (last update 30/07/18)

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