Online Voting - Volumes
Percentage of proxies received since 2004
Since its inception, online voting volumes have increased steadily each year but have never outperformed paper votes. However in 2020 we saw a change with online votes exceeding paper votes for the first time.
This was partly due to the temporary relief provided by the government for electronic document execution where some companies did not send a hard copy proxy form to their holders. The S&P/ASX 100 recorded the biggest jump in online votes (29.08%).
Percentage of online votes received by S&P/ASX category
The greatest volume of online votes comes from the S&P/ASX 201+ base of voters with over 60% of votes lodged online.
Issued Capital Voted
Percentage of Voting Issued Capital
Issued capital voted was higher in both the S&P/ASX100 & 200 indices in 2020 with the S&P/ASX200 returning the biggest increase of 10.07%.
Form Volumes & Number of AGMs Held
Form Volumes include Online & Paper
The average return for proxy forms in 2020 across all indices was 2.64%, down from 3.87% in 2019. Proxy form return has been low for a number of years and with a number of larger issuers not sending hardcopy forms, this impacted volumes in the second half of 2020.
The return rate in the first half of 2020 was 4.07%. This was before the temporary relief provided by the government for electronic document execution.
The rate fell to 2.54% for AGMs held in the second half of 2020.
The total number of holders lodging a vote remains low across all indices with the S&P/ASX100 having the lowest return rate of 2.05%. This is expected with this group taking the most advantage of the temporary relief for electronic document execution.
41 clients offered direct voting in 2020, up from 17 in 2019. Clients who had allowed for direct voting in their constitution and had not used it in the past, introduced it as a result of holding a virtual meeting.
The number of holders electing direct voting as an option this year was up from 38.99% in 2019 to 51.18% in 2020. However, the total issued capital voted using direct voting was down from 19.32% in 2019 to 8.38% in 2020.
Percentage of holders who received AGM documents via email and post
Due to the temporary relief provided by the government for electronic document execution, holders receiving electronic communication of AGM documents increased 16.68% from 2019.
The previous increase between 2018 and 2019 was only 1.14%.
However this varied across indices as it was primarily the issuers in the S&P/ASX100 with large holder numbers that took advantage of the communication relief. In the S&P/ASX200+ 53.69% of holders were mailed AGM documents.
The increase is due mainly to issuers in the S&P/ASX 100 where only 21.31% received their AGM documents via post.
Percentage of votes received online vs the number of holders emailed AGM documents – 2.27%.