It’s not every day that a share register as high profile, complex and sizeable as Vodafone’s is migrated to a new system. Ensuring successful execution was of paramount importance as not to create serious consequences for both Vodafone and EQ. Vodafone appointed EQ in November 2020, trusting that we were the partner who could handle the scale of the challenge ahead.
Of course, the migration had to be successful technologically and meet tight, complex regulatory obligations. In this particular case, that was just the start of what needed to be overcome. The next dividend record date was only weeks away making it imperative that this vast amount of data had absolute integrity and was available to use incredibly quickly. Normally it would take 12 weeks at top speed to migrate a register of this size but EQ had half that time. Add in the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and Christmas causing international postage delays, and you have a maelstrom of significant considerations.
Our priority was to cause minimum disruption and confusion for our shareholders, to ensure the continuation of high-quality service and timely dividend. We trusted the EQ team to set the pace and monitor all the moving parts, always keeping us informed as to progress. They delivered marvellously, negotiating all obstacles along the way.
Rosemary Martin, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Vodafone Group Plc
Stage 4. Pay dividend December to early February 2021
Knowing that the dividend record date was immediately following the transfer, and was due to be paid only a few weeks after the register had been transferred, Equiniti planned for this in tandem with the migration project, ensuring that the dividend payment proceeded smoothly.
EQ and Vodafone achieved all their objectives, transferring all 2 million shareholder records accurately and in time to ensure shareholders received their dividends as planned in February 2021.
Looking back now, it was incredible what Vodafone and EQ achieved together in such a short amount of time and with such tricky obstacles to overcome. It was thanks to the Vodafone team’s trust in us and the time and effort they put into the project that we achieved such a successful outcome.
Anthony Hall, Managing Director of Client Relationships at EQ