If the shares that are held on trust for me have voting rights, can a vote be cast on my behalf?
In order for UK investors to invest in overseas companies via HL, the shares are usually packaged into a vehicle called a CREST Depository Interest (CDI). Investing in a CDI gives you exposure to an overseas security as a UK investor. The underlying shares are held on trust for the benefit of the investor that owns the CDIs.
The US CDIs that clients hold through HL do not have voting rights. The underlying investment, held by a subsidiary of Euroclear UK and Ireland, does have voting rights.
However, Euroclear UK and Ireland do not currently offer a service that passes their voting right on to the holder of the CDIs for US holdings. All investors who hold their shares through brokers and platforms that facilitate investing in US shares in the same way as HL will not be able to vote. This is not a decision that is in HL’s power to change.
Historically, there hasn’t been sufficiently strong interest to make this available. Our understanding is that Euroclear UK and Ireland plan to assess the change in underlying shareholder appetite for this service to see if there is sufficient demand to make this service available in future.