Through June of this year, we've distributed 15.4 million proxies, tabulated more than 2 million votes and managed more than 1,200 meetings.
This year has seen the highest rate of electronic distribution of proxy materials since e-distribution became an option, with nearly 13 percent of all proxy distributions going paperless. As more and more companies look to reduce both environmental impact and costs, we expect this number to continue its upward climb.
On par with the overall reduction in physical proxies, we also saw one of our lowest proportions of card votes, with just shy of 64 percent of all votes being cast on paper. Conversely, 2017 has been one of the highest years for web-based voting, racking up nearly 27 percent of all votes cast (the remaining 9 percent coming from phone and live voting).
Now that we have 10 years of voting data, it's easy to declare certain behaviors as official movement in shareholder behavior, rather than simply a momentary trend. Not surprisingly, the adoption of online voting has grown tremendously in the last decade, with nearly double the percentage of people casting web ballots. Interestingly, the increase in web votes has taken a larger chunk of the vote share from phone-based voting, rather than paper voting (though both have gone down).
The use of e-distribution of proxies has shown the same impressive growth, with the proportion of proxies sent electronically more than doubling since 2008.
And "notice and access" appears on the way to becoming the new normal. In 2008, a scant 4 percent of our meeting clients took advantage of this cost-saving option. It has steadily grown over the years, with more than 30 percent of the meetings so far this year taking that route.
We like to analyze proxy and annual meeting data every year to showcase a few of the major trends in proxy voting behavior. However, the importance of your annual meeting goes far beyond knowing these statistics. At Computershare, we have an extraordinary amount of experience and the leading experts in the industry to help make all shareholder meetings a success. Contact us to learn more about how we can help manage your shareholder meetings, including virtual meetings (clients are encouraged to reach out directly to their relationship manager).