ABC recently filed this letter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Advanced Voting Instructions (AVI). AVI, sometimes known as Client Directed Voting, is a device to facilitate voting by retail shareholders, that is, individuals who own stock through brokerage accounts. These retail shareholders are often underrepresented in shareholder votes.
As larger and larger social and economic issues find their way on to corporate ballots (in part because of the incapacity of our political institutions), all shareholders should have an equal opportunity to voice their views. In this limited sense, there are similarities between corporate democracy and political democracy. AVI, if put into place, could expand significantly the number of shareholders voting in corporate elections, thereby making the results more representative of overall shareholder sentiment.