ADP-ICS Becomes Broadridge

On April 2, 2007 Automatic Data Processing, Inc.   (ADP: NYSE) spun off its Brokerage Services Group into independent public company Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.   (NYSE: BR).   This was a big event for a company that has played, and will continue to play, such a key role in the shareholder services industry.   A part of ADP’s Brokerage Services Group was ADP-ICS, for Investor Communication Services.   This entity handled, and as part of Broadridge will continue to handle, essentially all street (aka beneficial) shareholder proxy distribution and tabulation.   It is, in this respect, a virtual monopoly; but, in many other ways the unit is remarkable for its “un-monopoly-like” qualities.   Like Broadridge as a whole, the proxy unit is (in our and most people’s opinion, we think) well-managed, it does a very good job, it is widely respected, it does not charge ridiculous prices for what it does, it is innovative, it knows how to leverage (and invest in) technology, it seeks out logical opportunities for diversification, and it is very customer service-focused.   And now, as a public company, all those attributes will be required of it even more.   We salute the new Broadridge, and will watch with interest as it evolves during this potentially significant period of change in proxy distribution and tabulation generally, exemplified by the impending implementation of “notice & access” as a voluntary approach for all American corporations on July 1 (