The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have released for comment proposed protocols that contain CSA staff guidance on operational processes to tabulate proxy votes for shares held through intermediaries. The protocols have been developed following the CSA’s review of the proxy voting infrastructure, which began in August 2013, and a detailed review of six shareholder meetings, as reported by the CSA in its January 2015 progress report.
The draft protocols lay out the CSA’s expectations for the roles and responsibilities of the key entities that operate the infrastructure (for example, intermediaries and CDS) and include guidance on the kinds of operational processes that would support accurate, reliable and accountable meeting vote reconciliation. As for next steps, the CSA plan to establish a technical committee to support the implementation of improvements to the infrastructure, hold one or more additional roundtables, publish the final protocols at the end of 2016 and monitor voluntary implementation thereof. While not the usual practice for staff guidance, the CSA are seeking comment on the protocols by July 15, 2016. For further information, please see CSA Multilateral Staff Notice 54-304 Final Report on Review of the Proxy Voting Infrastructure and Request for Comments on Proposed Meeting Vote Reconciliation Protocols.