ADP forges Japanese electronic proxy voting joint venture

ADP forges Japanese electronic proxy voting joint venture

ADP Investor Communication Services (ICS), Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) have formed a joint venture company in Japan that will develop an electronic proxy voting platform designed specifically for the local market.

The platform will be based on ADP's Web voting system ProxyEdge Lite (PE Lite) and will be capable of handling both Japanese and English languages.

The JV will offer issuer-supported proxy voting to institutional investors in Japan as well as ADP's existing global service for non-Japanese users.

Yutaka Kawajiri - who was formerly at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation - has been appointed president and CEO of the new JV. Bruce Babcock, president of ADP ICS Europe and Asia, will serve on the board of the new company.

Babcock says the new process will provide investors close to 11 days to make more informed voting decisions in the crucial June meeting season, up from the existing 3-4 days: "This fully electronic solution will remove a huge amount of paperwork from the existing process in Japan, enabling Japanese and international investors to receive their Japanese ballots in seconds rather than days, and return the votes substantially closer to the actual meeting date than is possible today."

The JV is scheduled to launch operations later this year, starting with companies holding meetings in March 2005, in time for the crucial June season next year.

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