On 5 May 2020, in light of the continuing COVID-19 restrictions, Central Depository AD (CDAD) held a virtual meeting with issuers, custodian banks and other market participants to present its EPOS platform, launched in 2018. The platform aims at facilitating the electronic voting at general meetings of both public and non-public companies.
According to CDAD:
EPOS allows (i) issuers to organize reliable and fully automated general meetings in line with regulatory requirements, e.g. EU Shareholders Rights Directive, and market standards such as the Market Standards on General Meetings developed by the European Joint Working Group on General Meetings (JWGGM) and (ii) securities holders to exercise their voting rights after login with digital electronic signature.
Direct participation by the securities holders either before or during the general meeting and proxy voting are possible in EPOS. It should be noted that proxy voting requires the securities holder to enter the proxy’s details via the platform in advance so that the proxy can subsequently vote at the general meeting.
Automated generation of shareholders’ book via EPOS.
Video streaming, etc.
CDAD is yet to provide guidance on the availability of EPOS for direct use by local subcustodian banks voting on behalf of their international clients, based on UniCredit’s request.
According to local legislation:
- Meeting-specific Power of Attorney (PoA) is required for proxy voting at general shareholders’ meetings and sub-delegation of PoA rights shall be void.
- Physical presence at general meetings of shareholders is usually required unless the issuer’s Articles of Association or meeting invitation allow for voting by electronic means (real-time voting) or mail-in prior to the meeting (e-mail, courier, etc.).
Impact on Investors: Proxy voting procedure can be enhanced with EPOS platform for electronic voting of Central Depository AD.