This shareholder voting and communications system services millions of "street name" shareholders each year, who hold their shares indirectly through brokers and bank custodians.
Under this form of ownership, shares are technically owned through the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) by the broker, bank or other intermediary, so that only the broker or bank knows the identity of its client, the true beneficial holder. The other type of shareholder is a “registered” shareholder, who holds shares directly on the books of the issuer or its transfer agent. Although the "street name" form of ownership has existed for nearly as long as the equity markets themselves, Congress and the SEC fostered its growth beginning in the 1970s.
Shareholder communications and voting systems need to operate in a reliable, efficient and credible manner. In addition, it is vital these systems provide clients with adequate protection, including protection of the privacy rights of shareholders regarding the confidentiality of their personal information and trading decisions.
SIFMA Launches Proxy Resource Center
A comprehensive guide to educate retail investors on the importance and mechanics of the proxy process. Proxy Resource Center >
SIFMA strongly believes that the rights and interests of shareholders should be the focus of any discussions on the proxy process. Furthermore, any review of the proxy voting and shareholder communication system should focus on enhancing the current system through the use of new technologies and other means while ensuring the efficiencies that currently exist in the system are not lost.