Proxy Vote refers to a ballot cast that is made by a single person or a firm on behalf of a corporate shareholder who was not able to attend the shareholder’s meeting or may have chosen not to cast a vote for some particular reason. The representative may be another member of the same body or of an external body. The person delegated is called a proxy and the person delegating is called a principal.
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A proxy statement is received by the shareholders which contains a proxy ballot along with an information booklet in the mail that describes the issues that would be dealt with in the meeting and needs voting. Prior to an annual company meeting the eligible shareholders receive all the voting and proxy information. Shareholders vote on a variety of issues like the election of board members, merger or acquisition approval, or approving a stock approval plan.
How does Proxy Vote work?
- Publicly traded companies report to the shareholders about their activities through the annual general meeting. The shareholders receive all the information before the meeting such as the topics discussed and which will require voting. Investors who own applicable voting shares as of that date in the records of the company will only be allowed to vote.
- The shareholders are sent a proxy statement, annual report, and proxy card before the meeting where the proxy card contains voting instructions.
- This is done because not all the shareholders can arrive for the annual meeting to cast their vote hence, they send somebody else in their place. The person can be anyone from the management team of the company.
- It should be cast on or before 24 hours from the annual meeting, it can be done via phone or simply mail.
- There are usually four options that the shareholders can choose from which are for, against, not vote, or abstain.
On November 25, 2019, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD announced that it intended to acquire DETOUR GOLD in an all-stock deal. The two companies would become one with Kirkland lake gold acquiring 73% of the resulting company and detour gold the remaining 23%. Although the board members agreed to the acquisition unanimously, a shareholder voting took place for the same. All the eligible shareholders received the voting and proxy information. The shareholders were informed that either they could themselves put a vote or send a representative on behalf of them who would put a proxy vote. The deal was completed in January 2020.
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Purpose of proxy voting:
- The shareholders have a limited amount of time to actually analyze what is happening in the company hence they prefer to give the vote to someone who actually works in the company for better judgment and is well informed.
- The shareholders may not always be available to attend the meeting but their vote is a must hence they send someone on their behalf.
As shareholders, they have the power to vote and select the right from wrong which will indeed help to take the company forward. If the shareholders understand the rights better then they would feel belonging to the company.
Author -Sanjana Rau
About the author- Started my journey of self even when the odds were against me, keen observation, a cool temper, and sports worked the best for me.