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Online firm aims to gather shareholders’ votes

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

An online company based in West Chester is trying to get shareholders more involved in the companies they hold stock in.

Public companies send shareholders thick packets called “proxy votes” to vote for things like the board of directors and compensation practices.

The problem is that individuals aren’t voting their proxies.

Mark Schlegel started moxyvote.com to get individuals more active in decision making at public companies.

The site allows shareholders to vote online, and it also provides guidance from other organizations — such as environmental groups — on how to vote.

Steven Balsam, a professor at Temple University’s business school, said voting is not necessarily hard, but can be confusing.

“That is something new, where there is advice for the street investor,” said Balsam. “That could potentially get people more interested.”

But Balsam said individuals usually have a small voice even if they vote, because they own few shares.

Moxy’s growth depends on companies allowing it to process proxy votes…and some companies are shutting out the new venture.

One Comment

  • Marcy Maggen says:

    While each individual investor may not own a lot, in aggregate retail investors own 25-35% of the shares outstanding!

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