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Public companies and mutual funds hold shareholder meetings where key issues on business strategy or how the organization is governed are discussed. Shareholder meeting attendees are asked to vote on issues that impact the future direction of the company or fund. And while many shareholders do not attend these meetings, they are still able to have their voice heard by voting by proxy.
When you invest in a company, it makes you an owner. Ownership gives you a voice in how the company is run. The main way shareholders can make their opinions heard is by voting on shareholder resolutions at company meetings convened for that purpose.
Shareholders can participate in the decisions that can affect both the financial health of the company as well as help shape its future growth. These kinds of decisions can have a real impact on the long-term performance of your investment. This is why we tell shareholders to own your vote.
“Voting at shareholder meetings, generally via a proxy vote, is one way you can exercise your rights as an owner.”
So, what is a proxy vote?
Public companies hold shareholder meetings where key issues on business strategy or how the organization is governed are discussed. When it comes to certain issues, a proposal must be raised and presented for approval by shareholders
Shareholder meeting attendees are asked to vote on issues that impact the future direction of the company. If you can’t attend these meetings in person, you can still have your voice heard by using a proxy vote
Why do shareholders get a vote?
When you own a share of a company, you are an owner of that business. As a shareholder you get a vote in how it is run, in proportion to the amount of shares you own. The topics raised at shareholder meetings are not mundane issues. They are generally topics that have the potential to have a significant impact on the future direction of the company. As a result, these topics can have a direct impact on the value of the shares you own, so it is in your best interest to make sure you have a say in these key decisions.
What do I need to know to make my voice heard?
Proxy voting is not a difficult process. You just need to spend a little time to understand the issues and then take a few steps to submit your votes. The links here can provide you with more information about the process, the impact your votes may have and even how to cast a proxy vote.
What kind of issues do shareholders vote on?
Proxy votes can address a wide range of issues. Proxy votes are often put forth to elect members of a company’s board of directors. They can be used to give shareholders a say on corporate strategy or executive compensation. And shareholders have even used proxy votes to encourage companies to take on more environmentally or socially responsible business practices.
How will I know what items are on the ballot?
Companies are obligated to inform their shareholders in advance of any vote. To make sure you are able to exercise your rights as a shareholder, you will receive proxy materials, by mail or email, that include important information:
Once you have reviewed the information and decided how you’d like to vote, it is easy to then vote your proxy.
Take action in helping to shape tomorrow
Participating in shareholder meetings is one way to help shape the future of the companies you invest in. You can attend shareholder meetings in person, and in many cases virtually. At meetings you can learn about the companies you invest in and ask questions. You can also express your opinions on the issues that affect your investments.