Since 2009, MoxyVote.com has been a great pioneer in building a Client Directed Voting (CDV) system to empower individual investors to vote shares intelligently, by linking their votes with advice from respected sources. Unfortunately, the regulatory changes needed to make CDV financially sustainable have not yet been forthcoming. From Moxy’s closing blog post today:
It seems appropriate at this time to explain our rationale for closing. The simple answer is that we were unable to make any tangible progress on several key barriers to our success. These obstacles have been known for some time. In fact, we documented them very clearly nearly two years ago in our response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for public comment on its publication entitled Concept Release on the U.S. Proxy System. For those that are interested, our comments can be read here.
In summary, our efforts thus far lead us to conclude that there are two primary obstacles that will prevent any individual investor-focused proxy voting websites from being successful. They are the following:
- Individual shareholders have no legal grounds to compel their brokers to deliver ballots electronically to internet voting platforms. And, unfortunately, many brokerage firms have stated clearly to us that they will send them only when required to do so by regulators.
- Proxy distribution/collection agents are presently charging significant fees to internet voting platforms for vote collection – a fee that should be paid by public companies and one that proves substantially more burdensome to individual voters than institutional voters.
The Moxy Vote team did a great job against tough odds. I hope they will come back to life at some point. But either way, their substantial contributions to showing what is possible in proxy voting reform will stand, and others will build on that foundation. Thank you Moxy Vote!