TD Waterhouse has become the first execution only brokerage firm in the U.K. to offer its investors holding their shares in nominee form the right to receive proxy materials and vote electronically.
The new service called TD Waterhouse Shareholder Voting and Information Service will be available for free to all of TD Waterhouse customers and is provided in a partnership with New York-headquartered Broadridge Financial Solutions, the world’s largest proxy mailing and voting firm.
Investors who hold their accounts through TD Waterhouse in the U.K. can click onto www.twaterhouse.co.uk to request that corporations in which they invest send them proxy materials electronically. The investors can then also vote online through the same website. Broadridge is responsible for forwarding the names of the investors to the corporate issuers and sending their votes to their registrars – the U.K. equivalent of transfer agents.
“At TD Waterhouse we appreciate that not being recognized on the share register has long been an issue for U.K. investors when holding shares electronically with a broker,” said Jason Robinson, director of operations for TD Waterhouse in London. "For this reason we have worked with Broadridge to find a solution that will alleviate this problem for our nominee customers.”
Broker-dealers and banks must notify U.K. companies of the names and communication preferences of beneficial or nominee-name shareholders—those holding their shares in the name of their financial intermediaries instead of their own names. Previously, those investors would only receive proxy material at the discretion of their financial intermediary.