Chief Executive Officer, Management at Broadridge Financial Solutions
Thanks, Edings. Good morning, and thank you for joining us. I'll begin with an overview of our key messages and some highlights from our strong first quarter. Next, I'll provide an update on execution against our growth strategy across our three franchises. Finally, I'll close with some thoughts on how Broadridge is continuing to drive long-term sustainable growth. Let's get started. Our first quarter results marked a strong start to the fiscal year. Recurring revenues rose 16% and adjusted EPS rose 9%. Second, our top line growth continues to be propelled by a combination of our own actions and strong underlying market trends. The biggest driver of our 7% organic growth across all three of our businesses was the onboarding of closed sales as we continue to convert our $385 million backlog into recurring revenue. We also benefited from the continued tailwind of very healthy position growth in governance, driven by ongoing trends.
Third, we continue to execute on our long-term growth plans across our governance, capital markets and wealth and investment management franchises. I'll provide an update on our execution steps in a few moments. Finally, our strong start to the year puts us in a very good position to reaffirm our full year guidance, including 12% to 15% recurring revenue growth and 11% to 15% adjusted EPS growth. It also keeps us on track to deliver at the higher end of our 3-year growth objectives. Beyond those three-year objectives, we are focused on delivering sustainable long-term growth driven by ongoing industry trends and investments across our governance, capital markets and wealth franchises and in turn, generating consistent top quartile shareholder returns. Generating those returns requires consistent execution. So let's turn to slide five for an update on our growth strategy, starting with governance. Our governance business had a very strong first quarter. ICS recurring revenues rose 11% to $410 million. As I noted earlier, the biggest driver of that growth was revenue from closed sales.
The other key driver continued to be position growth, which reached 39% for equity proxies in a small quarter, and 9% for funds and ETFs. In equities, the growth continues to be broad-based across all market caps in multiple industries. In funds, much of the growth is being propelled by ETFs. Over the past decade, the number of both equity and funded ETF shareholders has risen at a high single-digit rate, propelled by the ongoing democratization of investing. We're also extending our governance franchise to enable voting choice. Many of you saw the announcement from BlackRock a few weeks ago that they will implement pass-through voting for their institutional investors. Climate change and ESG more broadly are becoming increasingly important to investors, and they're demanding to have greater transparency and voice in the actions that companies they own are taking to address these issues. Broadridge is playing a key role in helping BlackRock implement this important change. We have been working with them over an extended period to leverage our infrastructure to enable pass-through voting.
It's a great example of how our expertise in managing preferences and voting and our 24/7 SaaS platform is helping our fund industry clients. Given the increasing importance of ESG, we're hearing from others in the industry, seeking to offer a similar service to their clients over time. Moving to capital markets. We continue to make progress in growing our franchise with revenues rising 34% to $209 million driven primarily by the integration of Itiviti, which is going well. Our newly combined capital markets team has hit the ground running in finding complementary product opportunities that leverage our pre and post rate expertise and client reach. For example, we recently announced the integration of Itiviti's NYFIX solution with Broadridge's buy-side portfolio order and investment management system. This will enable Broadridge's clients to achieve greater automation in their post-trade workflows and is a tangible step toward integrating our solutions across the trade life cycle. Outside of Itiviti, we brought live another large U.S. bank with a global business to our GPTM capital markets technology platform. The first phase of this onboarding, covering global fixed income, is a result of over two years of platform investment.
We expect to roll out additional phases, including the expansion of equities over the coming quarters. In wealth and investment management, revenues rose 6% to $131 million. We continue to make steady progress in developing our Broadridge wealth management platform, while also delivering component solutions. For example, we were recently selected by a leading Canadian pension plan to leverage our investment management private debt and loan solutions to help them manage their alternative asset portfolio. I want to wrap up by giving you my perspective on what our continued execution means for Broadridge and our investors. So let's turn to slide six. Our strong first quarter results reflect the underlying growth trends powering our business and the execution of the clear growth plan we laid out at our Investor Day 11 months ago. We're extending our governance capabilities to cover more investors, more geographies and more issuers.
We're building the data-driven solutions for the fund industry and the digital communications infrastructure that helps companies increase the effectiveness and lower the cost of their client communications. We're growing our capital markets franchise by adding new clients under our platforms and integrating the front office capabilities we acquired in Itiviti. And we're building our wealth and new management franchise by adding more component solutions and creating a next-generation wealth management technology platform. The critical factor underlying all this execution has been and will continue to be investment in our technology and digital platforms. We're pursuing a $52 billion market opportunity that's continuing to evolve. The long-term trends driving that evolution, including the ongoing democratization of investing, which in turn is driving and being driven by greater digitization, were only accelerated by the pandemic. Those same trends are powering our growth and creating an imperative for investment by our clients in the next-generation technology we provide. We're all hearing a lot these days about the "democratization" of investing.
But what we are seeing now is a continuation of a 50-year trend driven by the ongoing combination of new technology and reduced trading costs. These forces have led to continued innovation from discount brokerage to online trading, to 401s, ETFs and managed accounts. More recently, modern user interface, 0 commission trading and the pandemic have accelerated this long-term trend. Together, these forces have made investing consistently more cost-effective and more accessible for more people. For Broadridge, this has supported high single-digit growth over the last decade in the number of positions we serve. Going forward, more innovations, including direct indexing, will support continued growth. So we expect that same high single-digit growth for many years to come. It's worth noting that democratization is also playing a part in the increasing importance of ESG, which further underlines the importance of what Broadridge does. As new investors come to the market and new innovations drive increased diversification, it's critical that investors get to shareholder disclosures and other communications they need to make informed decisions. Investors are also seeking to exercise their vote on how issuers and funds should approach ESG issues. Our 24/7 SaaS technology platform plays a critical role in powering that system of corporate governance.
And these trends are making governance, voting and disclosures an even more important part of the investment process. We have built that platform through continuous innovation and investment to link tens of thousands of corporate issuers and funds with hundreds of banks and broker-dealers and tens of millions of institute individual investors. Our platform is constantly monitoring and validating positions across more than 100 million retail and 270,000 institutional accounts. Every day, we collect, maintain and manage the investor preferences that are critical to driving digital distribution. Doing so effectively and securely requires investment in continuous monitoring to provide the highest levels of data security. It also requires us to serve our bank and broker-dealer clients with co-branded communications, client service and integrated billing and collections that greatly simplify the entire ecosystem. As a result, we've built a 24/7 proxy and fund information infrastructure, which delivers highly accurate voting for thousands of annual meetings and whose efficiency saves funds and corporate issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Thanks to our investments in digitization, it's also increasingly green, driving down paper and mail volumes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So we will continue to invest in extending that network to enable expanded voting, enhance shareholder communications and to better gather and share data analytics that helps funds and issuers better understand changes in their investor base. Digitization is the second trend that's been accelerated by the pandemic and which is driving our growth. It's reducing costs for our clients, broadening their reach and accelerating processes from account opening to trade settlement and communications. It's being facilitated by the rapid adoption of next-generation technologies. The move to the cloud enables a scalable and variable cost computing architecture, which is changing our clients' business models. Data, analytics, and AI are transforming how clients make decisions and power their investment processes. The move to digital technology and financial services has been both a driver and beneficiary of market democratization. Financial services need technology and scale to compete in today's complex markets, and Broadridge provides both.
Our SaaS technology is an on-ramp for accelerated digitization with next-generation technology. We're delivering blockchain solutions to the repo market, AI-driven trading to fixed income and enhanced virtual and new meeting experience among many other examples. Bringing new technologies to our clients with mutualized solutions at scale is a core part of our strategy. Past investments have put Broadridge in a position to help our clients today. With the acceleration of democratization and digitization, the opportunity to invest for the future is as high as ever. We're investing to build new platforms and solutions, including our Broadridge wealth platform. Consistent with our history, we'll also actively seek out M&A opportunities that meet our strategic and financial criteria. Collectively, this investment strategy has and will continue to extend our capabilities in governance, including data analytics, capital markets, including most recently phone office trading and wealth and investment management. I'm confident that these investments will only further strengthen our position as an innovation enabler for our clients and reinforce our long-term growth. Finally, any focus on sustainable, long-term growth must be grounded in meeting the needs of all stakeholders.
At Broadridge, that focus starts with our culture, anchored in the service profit chain that puts associate engagement at the core of our business approach. It extends to our clients and communities as well as our shareholders. I encourage you to read our recently released sustainability report. You'll learn about how we are building the most engaging workplace for the most talented associates in our industry, the efforts we make to keep our clients' data secure, our success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and much more. Before turning the call to Edmund, I'd like to thank the thousands of dedicated and talented Broadridge associates that have made these results and future opportunities possible. They are the foundation of our success. Let me briefly sum up. Broadridge delivered a strong quarter driven by continued execution and powerful underlying growth trends. We are executing on our long-term growth strategy and are committed to making investments that will create additional opportunities. And we're doing it the right way by also driving associate engagement, making a positive impact on our communities, reducing our environmental footprint and improving the financial lives of millions. I'm confident that Broadridge is on track to achieve the higher end of our three-year growth objectives and is well positioned to drive sustainable growth for the long term. And now let me turn to Edmund for a review of our financial results. Edmund?