Shareholder Democracy Summit
The Shareholder Democracy Summit is a movement that began last fall with CSCS acting as a catalyst, which brings together all the key players who have a stake in shareholder democracy:
Issuers, Institutions, Transfer agents, the Depository, Custodians, Brokers, Managed funds, Regulators, the Proxy agent, Proxy advisors, Proxy solicitors, and other interested parties.
The summit is essentially a forum, with an agenda, which is to make Canadian shareholder democracy best in class. Shareholder democracy, the amalgam of players and processes that allow shareholders to vote their shares, is becoming a vital ingredient in the recipe that insures that our public companies deliver the value that society expects. The current process suffers from dysfunction and the solution is to fix the system.
In shareholder meetings across Canada, many of the frustrations are the same - holders of Canadian public shares often feel current voting rules and guidelines do not adequately serve their interest in capital markets. The reasons for the feeling are numerous and can include everything from unexpected growth in transaction volume, to the complexity of trades in capital markets. The Shareholder Democracy Summit aims to change all that by exploring and establishing new proxy voting guidelines and mandating reliable, institutional shareholder services to streamline the voting process.
In its inaugural year, the Summit will continue to evolve and adapt to changes in corporate governance policy, and offer unprecedented opportunities for institutional shareholders to share opinions on services, define proxy voting rules and help develop new proxy voting forms. As regulators and public interest groups continue to place increasing importance on shareholder democracy, an open forum on improving the voting process has never been more important.
"This unprecedented gathering of policy makers and stakeholders will ensure that everyone who plays a role in the system will have a voice," says CSCS Chairman of the Board, David Masse. "Our ultimate goal is to have the views of all constituents addressed in effective solutions."