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Corporate Actions

Corporate Action Notifications

Interactive Brokers receives information regarding announced, effective mandatory, and voluntary corporate actions from several third-party sources. We employ the following steps when notifying our clients of corporate actions:

  • Classify the corporate action.

    After entering our systems, corporate actions are classified as either a mandatory event (e.g., no action required by shareholder) or a voluntary event (e.g., shareholder may elect from a series of options).

  • Determine communication method based on corporate action classification.
    • Mandatory events: We alert clients by sending a general notification to any account holding a position in an affected security. Examples of mandatory events include stock split, acquisitions or stock and cash dividends.
    • Voluntary events: We first review and confirm the terms of the offer with the depository or processing agent. Then, we make the offer available through the corporate action election tool available through Client Portal and notify eligible shareholders. Clients can submit their election directly from Client Portal once the election period has commenced.

Securities Class Action Recovery Service

Interactive Brokers offers eligible clients the ability to enroll in the Securities Class Action Recovery Service. This is an automated service that removes the administrative burden of participating in a securities class action lawsuit.

For those clients not for Securities Class Action Recovery Service or for those securities not covered by the service, please note that Interactive Brokers cannot monitor, on behalf of clients, the status of class actions or other lawsuits against the thousands of corporations whose securities are traded by our clients or provide information to customers. Generally, if a class action lawsuit is successful or if there is a settlement, shareholders should receive a claim notice from the class action administrator. Any questions pertaining to class action lawsuits should be directed to the law firms representing the plaintiff(s).

Processing a Partial Call of a US Security

A partial call occurs when securities are redeemed for cash by the issuer prior to the maturity date of the instrument and typically involves bonds or preferred stocks. Holders of the instrument may become subject to the call when the issuer announces the record date of the call.

Once announced, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) runs an allocation algorithm and assign called lots to brokers. While the issuer may announce a redemption ratio, there is no guarantee that the depository will assign the call to every broker holding the called issue at the defined date.

After receiving the call information, Interactive Brokers attempts to evenly assign the call to all accounts holding positions that were identified as being against the position held at the depository by running an impartial lottery.

Note that while an account may be long shares, a portion of those shares may be lent or in some other way not considered part of Interactive Broker’s free position at the depository. As such, those shares will not be considered when determining the allocation of the call. When determining the final allocation, Interactive Brokers attempts (but does not guarantee) to process a partial call so that accounts do not end up holding a position that is less than a round lot. For example, if Interactive Brokers is called for 2,000 bonds and the assignment of the partial call to a holder of 1,000 bonds would result in the holder being unable to close the resulting position, the holder may be excluded from the allocation process. Such exclusion may result in a holder being assigned on the call for a higher percentage of their bonds than the issuer has announced.

Assignment of calls will be handled shortly after the announcement by the depository. Clients will have the assigned position moved to a contra-symbol to await allocation of the funds to the account.

About Corporate Actions

Corporate actions are compiled by Interactive Brokers on a “best effort” basis using information received from third-party vendors. Information from third parties may contain errors or omissions.

Corporate actions information is subject to change without prior or additional notice.

Interactive Brokers provides corporate actions information that may be of interest or relevance to clients. This information does not constitute a recommendation or advice by Interactive Brokers and clients may not rely upon the information.

Interactive Brokers does not warrant that the information provided is accurate, timely or complete. Clients are urged to verify the information prior to using it for investing and trading decisions, including, but not limited to, referral to independent financial news resources, company announcements, and regulatory filings or disclosures.