No Money-Saver

In the first year of "E-proxies," almost half of companies used them but many of those did not see the expected cost savings.

Last year was the first in which companies could legally dispense with printing and mailing proxies to their shareholders and put everything online, potentially saving millions of dollars in time and money. Did that option live up to its promise? First the good news: shareholders raised minimal fuss, and few (generally less than 5 percent) requested print materials instead of going online to vote, according to a recent survey by the National Investor Relations Institute and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals. The bad news? Cost savings were minimal, thanks to higher unit costs and hefty fees to service providers.

• Did you implement E-proxy? Yes: 44%, No: 56%

• 83% of companies using E-proxy printed fewer materials, but 25% saw no savings from the change.

• 58% paid their proxy service provider more than the previous year.

• 36% plan changes next year, including changing service providers.

Source: National Investor Relations Institute and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals

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