Pioneers in digital innovation, Strate welcomes Momentum Investments and Standard Bank

Pioneers in digital innovation, Strate welcomes Momentum Investments and Standard Bank

Strate’s e‐Voting platform has reached a significant milestone with the onboarding of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited and Standard Bank.

Momentum Investments, one of the operating brands within Momentum Metropolitan Holdings, becomes the first investment management services provider to partner with Strate’s e‐Voting. Standard Bank and Momentum Investments become early adopters and pioneers in shaping and driving digitised shareholder voting, enhanced shareholder engagement and improved corporate governance.

“As an innovative brand, we are proud to be the first investment management service provider to partner with Strate’s e-Voting platform. Good governance is a cornerstone of responsible investing and having an efficient and effective mechanism to exercise proxy votes is a key mechanism to hold companies and their leadership to account,” says Theo Terblanche, Executive Head of Investment Management, Momentum Investments. 

Standard Bank’s Senior Custody Product Manager, Sheron Botha, added: “As digital adoption increases, we are exploring different solutions for our clients’ varying needs. The e-Voting project has been an example of just that for an asset manager such as Momentum. Standard Bank is keen on partnering with our clients on their respective journeys to adopt digital solutions to both increase automation and mitigate risks. We are proud to have worked closely with Strate and Momentum to enable this solution.”

Strate’s e-Voting aims to significantly improve the way shareholder voting is conducted in South Africa, ensuring that there is increased transparency across the value chain from investors to issuers.

Benefits include:

Real time voting from any location

Ability for voters to change their vote at any time before meeting close

Ability for voters to direct questions to the meeting chairperson

No manual intervention at any stage in the value chain

Improved corporate governance through interactive, audited reports

Data security using Nasdaq’s blockchain technology

A true end-to-end solution

Annual general meetings (AGMs) serve a critical role as they provide one of the few opportunities for shareholders to engage with the company’s directors, raise questions and issues that concern them and vote on matters affecting the business.

The adoption of digital solutions for shareholder meetings is long overdue. South Africa’s financial markets industry has been grappling with the problem of a fragmented, paper-based environment for shareholder meetings for more than three decades. Most shareholders in South African companies do not attend AGMs but submit a written proxy in advance authorising the chairperson, or another representative, to vote according to their specified wishes. This is done either via email, hand-delivery to the company, or even by post.

Co-developed with leading global technology provider Nasdaq, the innovative, groundbreaking e-Voting platform enables virtual shareholder meetings and allows investors to communicate directly with companies, providing a fully digitised experience that seamlessly connects issuers and investors.

Strate’s Head of CSD Services, Gregory Naicker, commented: “As Strate continues on its journey of serving the financial markets by enabling digitisation, it has been our privilege to have collaborated with Standard Bank and Momentum Investments to implement the e-Voting platform service.”

Contact e-Votingteam@strate.co.za to find out how Strate’s e-Voting platform can enhance shareholder engagement and improve corporate governance.