Interactive Investor

interactive investor launches major voting innovation on app

17th July 2023 09:49

Jemma Jackson from interactive investor

Private investors get the ‘green light’ to vote as H1 voting numbers falter.

  • A ‘traffic light’ voting tool on app will help make voting more intuitive
  • Customers can now keep up to date on shareholder notifications wherever they are, via the ii app
  • Changes come as voting on ii falters in H1 2023, down -16% compared to H1 2022 after a significant 30% increase last year

Hundreds of thousands of private investors need never miss a UK voting opportunity again, in an industry first from interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest investment platform for private investors.

At a time when more needs to be done to help private investors share their voice, interactive investor has become the first UK investment platform to introduce voting on its app.  

More people than ever are using their mobile to manage their investments and more than 25% of mobile trades* on the traditional UK investment platforms now go through the ii app. 

Richard Wilson, Chief Executive, interactive investor, says: “This is another important step to make it easier for UK investors to connect with, and influence, the companies they own. Now with voting in the app, customers need never miss another voting opportunity.

“Investment platforms are the gateways through which millions invest, and despite progressing in a positive direction, the fact is that so far this year, some 93% of UK votes on ii have gone to waste. If we can move the dial by even a few percentage points, it will be impactful.

“As well as a traffic light style voting system on the app, voting opportunities will also be flagged up in news articles. It’s all about removing barriers and making it easier and more intuitive. Last year we saw a significant uplift in the number of votes processed, but this year we have returned to a ‘new normal’. This was expected, but we won’t rest on our laurels.

“I’m proud of our team for getting this ambitious project over the line. We will keep harnessing technology to help drive positive outcomes for customers; developing new features to help our customers engage with their investments.”

Building on progress

This newest ii app feature builds on ii’s leadership position, having switched customers to its UK ii online voting service in 2021, making it opt out rather than opt in. The move saw the number of votes processed increase by 30% last year, and was an industry tipping point. But over the year to date, the numbers have faltered.

In H1 2022, some 1,659,489 votes were processed on ii versus 1,633,130 in H1 2023, a -16% decrease.

Mark Northway, Director, ShareSoc says: “ii is ahead of the game as always. This is a fantastic step forward in making voting easier and more accessible for individual investors. It’s a key step in re-engaging shareholders with their companies.”

Sheryl Cuisia, Co-Founder of The Engagement Appeal says:  "We welcome the many voluntary actions taken by ii to make company engagement and proxy voting more accessible. Enabling voting via the ii app is another example of ii's commitment to democratising share ownership. TEA welcomes this development and looks forward to sharing this news to our growing community of diverse individuals and corporate partners."

Simon Rawson, Deputy Chief Executive, Share Action, says: “This is a welcome step in reconnecting shareholders with their voting power. Shareholders should be equipped with information and guidance so they can make real use of their rights, not least to steer companies onto more sustainable trajectories. On their part, pension schemes must step up and ensure the many more votes they hold are cast in line with their beneficiaries’ views on corporate environmental and social impacts.”

How ii’s new app feature works 

ii customers will now receive notifications through their ii app 'voting mailbox' service, informing them when they are eligible to place a vote. They will also be notified about important shareholder events, including AGMs.

ii customers will receive notifications related to all the UK-listed companies in which they own shares, including investment trusts. Additionally, if a customer is reading an article on the app, upcoming votes will be flagged.

A new ‘traffic light’ system to help guide private investors through every stage of the AGM process 

Through these new in-app features, ii customers will be able to stay informed and keep on top of their voting actions via a simple colour coding system:

  • Unvoted ‘Blue’ – Vote available with due date eight days (or more) away
  • Urgent ‘Orange’ – Vote available with due date within the next seven days
  • Voted ‘Green’ – Vote has been cast

For example, a customer looking at Barclays on the ii app would be notified by an upcoming vote as per the image below:

The customer’s voting mailbox, therefore, would look like the image below:

The most-popular votes – top 10 most-voted shares in H1 2023 on interactive investor in rank order

*Source: Compeer

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