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eToro enables AGM voting across entire stock universe as voting appetite grows among retail investors

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The trading and investment platform eToro has extended its proxy voting feature to all stocks listed on its platform after seeing massive engagement from users.

The firm writes that building on its partnership with Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. (NYSE: BR), eToro users, including those holding fractional shares, will now be able to participate in AGMs for stocks listed all over the world by casting a proxy vote on issues such as mergers, executive pay and environmental, social and governance targets.

eToro previously launched proxy voting for US stocks only, and in 2023, more than 145,000 votes were submitted by eToro users. The stocks which received the most votes by eToro users in 2023 include Apple, Amazon, AMC and GameStop.

According to eToro’s Retail Investor Beat, a global survey of 10,000 retail investors across 13 countries, appetite for voting is increasing. Almost one in three (29 per cent) retail investors have voted in an AGM before, up from 26 per cent from the survey published in June. Amongst those who have voted, the most common topic to have voted on is the election or re-election of directors (47 per cent), followed by dividends (45 per cent), share buybacks (34 per cent) and exec pay (30 per cent).

Dan Moczulski, UK Managing Director, eToro, says: “eToro users embraced proxy voting last year and we are thrilled to be building out this feature to include all stocks on our platform. Our users invest in companies from all over the world. Now they can have their voice heard with these companies by having a say in big corporate decisions.

“Whilst institutional shareholders have long been able to influence boards, executives and the direction of businesses, retail investors have not always been given the voice that they deserve. However, with the explosion in retailing investing that we’ve seen in recent years, this is changing. Proxy voting is a critical part of this process, enabling this group of investors to have a real impact in their role as shareholders. The appetite for voting is only increasing amongst retail investors and I am excited to see where this goes in the next few years.”

Demi Derem, General Manager of International Corporate Governance, Digital Transformation and Market Innovation at Broadridge, said: “We are delighted that the voting on US-only stocks has proved so popular with eToro’s users since the launch of their service last year and we are proud to further develop our partnership to support an expanded capability that includes all stocks, globally.

“We are witnessing the evolution of a new generation of retail investors – one that has expectations for more choice, convenience, and simplicity as their appetite to influence a company’s direction grows. At Broadridge, we remain firmly committed to championing shareholder democracy and increased investor engagement, and our collaborative effort to support eToro’s expanded services is a compelling example of this.”

Gili Wolff, Senior Director of Product, Trading & Dealing at eToro, added: “As we continue to build out eToro’s stock offering, proxy voting will be an increasingly important feature for our users, allowing them to exert their rights as shareholders and have a direct influence on the companies they hold in their portfolio.  We are very excited to be rolling this out across our whole stock universe and look forward to seeing eToro clients engage with it.”

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