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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 adviser platforms.

We also provide information about how to vote shares on direct-to-consumer platforms.

  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 
Aegon Retirement Choices (ARC) Yes No Adviser or client. Written confirmation and full details of relevant investments must be provided. Not disclosed Not disclosed Aegon must be informed of the intention to exercise any voting rights 15 business days before the voting date.  N/A
AJ Bell Investcentre Yes No  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). When an EGM is called, we'll send the customer a secure message outlining the details, and how they can vote. For AGMs, the customer can vote or attend – but we won't send them a secure message notifying them in advance. Information required is account number, shareholding and voting instruction. Clients do not need to notify for each account. As much notice as possible but we require at least 5 days N/A
Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) Yes -  No Clients can ask ATS to vote on any company resolutions on their behalf, as long as there is a right to vote and the client gives ATS clear instructions on how they want ATS to vote. Clients can also arrange to attend a company meeting in person (as a non-voting guest). Advisers can provide this information as long as they have the relevant permissions. Clients can call, email or write a letter informing ATS that they wish to vote. Aside from answering security questions, clients need to provide a clear instruction on how they wish ATS to vote on their behalf.  Clients 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 Yes - Ascentric accepts voting instructions but does not offer a voting service. No Advised clients can vote directly or through their adviser after consultation. Ascentric accepts letters from clients and/or emails from advisers. Information required is 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
Aviva Platform No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Elevate No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
FundsNetwork Yes No Can only be voted by client. Adviser cannot vote at the moment. Customer must opt in to the shareholders rights service online. From here customers will receive notifications of meetings for each asset they hold. Customers can then vote online for all resolutions under discussion in that AGM.  There is nothing extra required once customers have opted in. Customers can vote for all accounts simultaneously. Example timings are as follows - customer notified on 16th of month, meeting is 28th of the month, vote deadline day is 22nd of the month. N/A
Hubwise Yes. The client/advisers will need to contact Hubwise ahead of the AGM. Hubwise doesn't send out a notification as the information is publicly available. No Adviser or client. Hubwise needs to be contacted ahead of the meeting, stating number of shares held and which way client/adviser wants to vote on each resolution. Number of shares client holds and which way the client/adviser wants to vote on each resolution. It's the same process for each. Hubwise normally needs to know at least 2-3 days in advance of the meeting.  N/A
James Hay Yes, but only for investments held directly (on a 1:1 basis) or via a DFM/IM. Investment trusts cannot be held via the James Hay Investment Centre. No Not disclosed. For Whole of Market investments, James Hay will send out information/proxy forms to the investor when they’re received into the business. If the investor is aware of a vote taking place but James Hay hasn't been informed, the investor can instruct James Hay to vote. James Hay forwards on the voting papers to the client, which they must then complete. Upon receipt, James Hay then countersigns and forwards on to the investment provider. If the client has separate holdings/accounts, they will receive one vote per holding/account. Not disclosed. N/A
Nucleus No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Praemium No - held in discretionary models so the model manager votes on the investor's behalf. No N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Raymond James Yes Yes - £30 if at least 5 business days’ notice is given; £50 if there is less than 5 business days’ notice. If a proxy voting card is 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 with the completed proxy card. 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 must be confirmed for each specific account which holds the relevant shareholding. Normally 5 days notice is needed, but Raymond James will process on a best endeavours basis for less than 5 days.  Yes - Raymond James has procedures on its internal portal, which the wealth managers refer to.
Seven Investment Management (7IM) 7IM accepts voting instructions but does not offer a voting service. Clients can ask 7IM to: a) vote on any company or fund resolutions on their behalf (as long as there is a right to vote and the client gives 7IM clear instructions on how they want 7IM to vote). b) arrange for a client to attend a company or fund meeting in person (additional joint holder as a non-voting guest). No Instructions to vote can be submitted by the client or the adviser on behalf of a client. Instructions to vote can be submitted by the client or the adviser on behalf of a client. Instructions from advisers are submitted through the platform service team. Clients may instruct directly. Same process, but details must be confirmed for each specific account which holds the relevant shareholding. Normally 5 days' notice needed for CREST holdings before voting deadline, but Seven IM will process on a best endeavours basis for less than 5 days. 7IM does not send out notifications relating to company meetings.
Standard Life Wrap Yes, if shares are held in an ISA. No Instructions must come from the adviser. Provide a clear instruction to SL of what they would like to do. Proxy voting and the ability to attend an AGM are offered. A clear instruction and the date of the AGM. SL do not provide AGM notifications or investor forms. This information is widely available in the market. Votes are only possible on assets in clients' ISAs. Not disclosed All instructions are executed on a best endeavours basis, there is no formal agreement/SLA for HSBC to facilitate instructions.
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 Either is possible. Call or secure email to CSM team. Number of shares they hold and which way they want 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.
Zurich Yes, provided appropriate instructions from the client’s adviser or their appointed investment adviser(s) are received. The client will be responsible for the costs reasonably incurred by Zurich.  All information should be provided by the client’s adviser. The client’s adviser or investment adviser should contact Zurich to let them know what actions they wish taken on their behalf, i.e. attend shareholders’ meetings and exercise voting rights. Not disclosed Advisers do not need to notify for each account. At least 14 days’ prior written notice from the client’s adviser or any investment adviser(s) in order to comply with any requests. N/A

Source: AIC/the lang cat (last update 09/01/20)