As reported in the June 22, 2007 edition of Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest, the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 20, 2007 adopted rule changes that would permit registrants to choose between transmitting annual proxy materials on paper or electronically beginning in 2008. The latest E-Proxy statistics reported by Broadridge (as of December 31, 2007) of voluntary, early-adopting issuers and voting participation have been released. Some of the data reported is as follows:
- 69 companies have used e-proxy on a voluntary basis, with another 40 having committed to do so;
- there is a range of companies using e-proxy, large and small;
- most companies using e-proxy had only routine matters on their meeting agenda; another 30% had non-routine matters proposed by management and only 6% had non-routine matters proposed by shareholders;
- participation by individual shareholders declines significantly using e-proxy(based on 51 meeting results), with such participation declining from 17.1% to 4.0% (over a 75% drop) and the number of retail shares voting declining from 28.0% to 13.3% (over a 50% drop);
- Aggregate savings of $17.5 million were reported for the 69 companies using e-proxy.