Voting at shareholders' meetings is extremely complicated. This is partly due to the fact that shareholders of listed companies are anonymous, but also to the complexity of the system, which determines the economic and legal ownership of shares. In addition, a large proportion of the votes are executed by proxy to third parties. In our opinion, it is time for change.
06 Apr 2018
Make use of the voting rights as a shareholder
The conclusion is simple. A company with shareholders is on certain topics a democracy and shareholders have the right to vote on those agenda items of the company. Does it make it decision making easier? Not always. But the shareholder has invested in the company and has ‘earned’ its influence. Voting during the shareholders' meeting is one of the most important rights you have as a shareholder. This applies to all stock listed companies and therefore also to KAS BANK.
In our recent visits to institutional investors, including insurers and pension funds, we noticed that there is an increasing need to communicate transparently about their investment policy and voting behaviour. The end investors demand more open communication and transparent (e.g. in the annual report). They hold the investors accountable for the investment policy. A good opportunity for us to further investigate shareholder voting in the recently started KAS LAB, the innovation centre of KAS BANK. A group of specialists have started working on this matter. Blockchain technology appears to be particularly suitable for voting collection. For example, a number of initiatives have already been taken to facilitate democratic voting via Blockchain. As an extension of this, we have started experimenting to investigate whether there is an opportunity to use Blockchain technology to enable voting at shareholders' meetings.
Pilot of Voteroom will start
After 11 weeks of hard work, we developed a pilot. The specialists have built the 'Voteroom' application in collaboration with Atos Origin. The app uses the Ethereum framework. On Wednesday 25 April, KAS BANK will have the premiere at the General Shareholders Meeting. For the first time in the Netherlands, a pilot is taking place for voting at a shareholders' meeting via Blockchain technology.
For those interested, we organise a special meeting on Digital Investor Relationship Management and Blockchain. From the skybox of KAS LAB you look out over the general meeting of KAS BANK and you will be informed about all the ins and outs. Are you interested in attending this meeting in our temporary Skybox? Let me know, there are a few places left.