Online and mobile voting are not quite ready for prime time in the U.S. political system, but that future has already arrived in the world of corporate governance, thanks in no small part to Broadridge Financial Solutions. By way of the companys investor communication divisions ProxyEdge product, the $3 billion-in-revenue, Lake Success, New Yorkbased Broadridge facilitates proxy voting and other shareholder communications for more than 90 percent of the public companies and mutual funds based in North America. Spearheading these efforts is Robert Schifellite, a 30-year financial industry veteran who is president of investor communication solutions. The division led by Schifellite, 57, accounts for 75 percent of Broadridges revenue. Proxy processing and voting is going to be a huge deal for corporate governance, explains the Brooklyn native, who has a bachelors degree in accounting and an MBA from Hofstra University, and lives on Long Island. The practice has yet to reach mass adoption, however, so Schifellite promotes automated communications through both marketing and public forums. He participated in a February 2015 Securities and Exchange Commission roundtable on a proposed universal proxy ballot and other ideas for promoting retail participation in the proxy process. SEC chair Mary Jo White subsequently urged companies to give meaningful consideration to using some form of a universal proxy ballot even though the proxy rules currently do not require it. Broadridge, which also processes an average $5 trillion a day in equity and fixed-income trades, is eyeing potential applications of blockchain; it participated this year in a $60 million funding round for New Yorkbased Digital Asset Holdings. Blockchain will have an impact on voting, says Schifellite, who previously worked as a Deloitte & Touche auditor and joined Broadridge predecessor ADP Brokerage Services Group in 1992. But across all of Broadridge, this is a significant focus.
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