TOKYO (Dec. 12, 2019) – ICJ Inc. (ICJ),the one and only electronic proxy voting platform provider directly connecting investors to issuing companies in Japan, and Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), the leading provider of responsible investment and governance solutions to the global financial community, have achieved a system linkage between their electronic proxy voting platforms for voting by domestic institutional investors for Japanese meetings.
This system linkage has been established through a series of discussions among ICJ, ISS and related parties in response to a report by the Study Group on Promoting Electronification of Processes for Shareholder Meetings at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry dated April 21, 2016, that referred to, among other roadblocks, the lack of linkage between proxy voting platforms as one of major issues to overcome.
The linkage enables domestic institutional investors using ProxyExchange, ISS’ platform, to convey voting instructions for shareholder meetings of issuers contracting with ICJ, to their transfer agents electronically via ICJ’s platform. That makes cutoff dates for vote instructions closer to the meeting dates, allowing them a much longer period to review agenda proposals. The system linkage is also expected to streamline the workflow of the proxy voting process significantly.
“We are delighted to establish the system linkage with ISS,” said Shigeo Imakiire, President of ICJ. “The number of issuers contracting with the ICJ platform has been increasing steadily in recent years and exceeded 1,000 in June this year. We hope that the enhanced convenience for domestic institutional investors by this system linkage, combined with the increase in the number of issuing participants, will help to further develop the electronification of the proxy voting process in Japan.”
“ISS is pleased to establish the system linkage with ICJ,” said Lorraine Kelly, Head of Governance Solutions at ISS. “With this linkage, domestic users of ProxyExchange can streamline and accelerate the operational aspects of the voting process. ISS is always committed to enhancing the usability of ProxyExchange.”