On November 28, 2018, American Funds by Capital Group held shareholder meetings for the election of boards for all open-end funds and variable products, including an amendment to the Advisory Agreement for certain funds. By partnering with Computershare for this complex-wide proxy campaign’s planning and execution, Capital Group successfully executed the campaign on time and on budget.
In partnering with Computershare for its proxy solicitation, American Funds considered a range of factors, including Computershare’s work quality, production capacity and track record in successfully completing campaigns in a timely fashion.
The proxy was one of the largest undertakings in the mutual fund industry with 103 funds and approximately 65 million shareholders, requiring extraordinary effort. Computershare’s substantive expertise and stewardship in coordinating a broad team of trusted service providers allowed Capital Group to successfully execute its proxy efforts.
Computershare excelled at providing deep analysis and analytics to ensure the proxy statements, ballots, notices, and related collateral information was complete. For example, identifying the shareholder population is critical, so Computershare carefully analyzed the shareholder base and determined which segments should be targeted with specific strategies.
As the shareholder meeting approached, Computershare provided vote reporting to the Capital Group team daily. They worked with Computershare to strategize on a number of intermediary voting matters with several experienced Computershare team members who provided unbiased thoughts and advice, empowering them to decide on next steps while receiving assurance on the vote.
To save costs and improve sustainability, Computershare did an analysis to reduce proxy statement page count, utilize correct mailing methods and minimize postage costs — a significant component of the total campaign cost. For example, Computershare recommended the use of drop entry instead of first or standard class mail, saving 12 percent in overall postage on 8 million packages.
After careful analysis to determine a notice and access strategy would result in the required vote without the need for additional solicitation, statement printing was reduced by nearly 14 million pieces, thus saving 64 percent of printing costs. Computershare was able to minimize paper distribution for savings to the funds as well as increase shareholder satisfaction.
With the recent successful proxy experience, Capital Group highly recommends Computershare as a project partner to ensure a successful and well-run shareholder meeting campaign. The knowledge and experience of its organization, combined with excellent communications makes Computershare a valued service provider and partner.
- 12% cost savings in overall postage
- 64% cost savings in financial printing