When a company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) holds a shareholder vote, eligible shareholders may be able to cast their vote in advance through Sharesies.
At the moment, you can’t take part in votes held by companies listed on Australian or US exchanges through Sharesies. Instead, we cast a ‘broker non-vote’ for US shareholder votes and don't take part in Australian shareholder votes.
What’s a shareholder vote?
A shareholder vote can take place when a company holds their annual shareholder meeting. At this meeting, directors of a company get together to present a report to shareholders, outlining the company's performance and future strategy.
There’s usually a vote that’s held on the day of the meeting, where shareholders might vote on things like the company's board of directors, executive compensation (the pay packages for executive officers like the CEO and CFO), and future corporate actions.
Shareholder votes can occasionally happen outside of an annual shareholders’ meeting—often on significant matters. We may provide access to these votes on a case-by-case basis.
Where can I find info about the vote?
The company will release a proxy statement in the lead up to the vote. This will contain the relevant information the company is providing their shareholders to inform their vote. You can usually find the proxy statement on the company’s website.
Am I eligible to vote?
To be eligible to vote through Sharesies, you must own shares in the NZX-listed company holding the vote on the ‘record date’. Due to T+2 settlement, you’ll need to have bought shares at least two trading days before the record date to be eligible to take part.
If a company you own shares in announces a vote, we’ll let you know if you’re eligible to take part, and the date and time you’ll need to cast your vote by.
If the record date for a vote is Wednesday 14 September 2022, you’d be eligible to take part if you owned or bought shares no later than 5 PM on Monday 12 September 2022.
How to vote through Sharesies
In most cases, you’ll be presented with three voting choices for each resolution the company wants to take a vote on: for, against, or abstain.
For—you are for the resolution.
Against—you are against the resolution.
Abstain—you’re neither ‘for’ or ‘against’ the resolution.
To take part in a vote:
go to the company holding the vote in your Portfolio—look for the words ‘upcoming vote’
tap ‘Vote now’ in the box at the top of the page
make your voting choices, and tap ‘Next’
review your choices, and tap ‘Cast my votes’.
If you want to change any of your votes after they’ve been cast, you’ll need to withdraw your votes and recast them before voting closes. It may not always be possible to recast your votes.
Casting your votes is entirely optional! If you’re eligible to vote, but choose not to, the proxy at the shareholders’ meeting may cast your votes on your behalf. To find out how they may vote, read the Notice of Meeting released by the company.
Change your votes
To change your votes after they’ve been cast, you’ll first need to withdraw them:
go to the company in your Portfolio
tap on ‘View’ in the box at the top of the page
select ‘Withdraw my votes’.
You can then follow the process outlined above for voting through Sharesies. You can recast your votes as many times as you like before voting closes.
How does Sharesies cast my votes?
Because we hold your shares on your behalf and for your benefit, we’re able to cast your votes for you. We submit them as a proxy vote two days before the live vote takes place.
Typically, you’ll get 1 vote for every whole share you own (or in proportion to the fractional amount of shares you own). (This ratio can vary depending on the ‘class’ of your shares.) For example, if you owned 100 shares in a company, you’d get 100 votes. And if you voted ‘for’ to all resolutions in a vote, it’d be recorded as 100 ‘for’ votes towards each resolution.
Fractional votes are pooled together based on the voting choice. For example, if you owned 6.2 shares and voted ‘for’ a resolution, 6 votes will be added to the ‘for’ total and 0.2 will be added to the other fractional share amounts that voted ‘for’, then (if required) rounded up to the closest whole number.
Will Sharesies submit a broker non-vote?
A broker non-vote is used by brokers to report the number of shares held by their investors, without taking a stance on the voting resolutions.
For US shareholder votes, Sharesies will submit a broker non-vote.
For Australian shareholder votes, Sharesies will not take part in the vote. We’re looking into how we can make this available to you in the future.
The instances where we have submitted a broker non-vote are outlined below. If you have any questions, reach out to our team at email@example.com. We’re here to help!