Following the successful production pilot, Citi (NYSE:C) has rolled out ProxymitySM, an innovative digital proxy voting platform developed through Citi’s D10XSM program. As a result of the collaboration between Citi and Computershare, the global market leader in share registration and meeting services, both organisations are able to deliver meaningful and measurable voting-related benefits to institutional investors and public companies. Proxymity has been successfully used by key investors at 17 shareholder meetings in the UK, 8 of which were for FTSE100 companies, and the platform is on track to support up to 200 meetings in the UK throughout 2018.
By using a core algorithm to streamline the flow of information between intermediaries, Proxymity maximises the accuracy and transparency of the current shareholder meeting voting ecosystem. The platform removes inefficiencies by directly connecting the issuers to the investors.
“Our corporate issuer clients have long sought ways to more efficiently identify and communicate with their institutional investors whose investments are often held by nominees and custodians. Through this effective collaboration with Citi, issuers and institutional investors will now in practice both benefit from investors having more time to digest, communicate and convey voting intentions on important matters that are decided at shareholder meetings,” said Paul Conn, President of Global Capital Markets at Computershare.
Through the pioneering solution, issuers can receive real-time confirmation of investor votes as soon as these are entered onto the platform, from the moment the shareholder meeting has been announced through to the deadline. Investors benefit from improved voting cut-off dates in comparison to current practices, with up to nine additional days to research the meeting and cast their votes through the platform; which in addition provides post-meeting vote confirmation to investors.
“Enhancing transparency and efficiency in the proxy voting chain is of utmost importance to ensure high quality and accuracy of our voting activities. Proxymity’s ability to verify the votes cast at shareholder meetings improves the effectiveness of our voting activities and allows real-time engagement between issuers and investors,” said Carola van Lamoen, Head of Active Ownership at Robeco. “We will continue to support initiatives such as Proxymity as voting along with our engagement activities can influence companies to generate a positive impact and added value for our clients.”
Proxymity is one of the first initiatives to launch from Citi’s D10X program, an internal strategic growth model that enables employees to take new business ideas from concept to launch. The platform was developed by employees of Citi’s Custody and Fund Services business. Employees participating in Citi’s D10X program are coached through a rigorous validation process led by Citi Ventures and supported by Citi’s innovation labs globally. The underlying Proxymity technology was developed at the Citi Innovation Lab in Tel Aviv.
“As Proxymity continues to gain momentum, we are pleased to support a growing number of issuers and investors on the platform and meet users’ requirements for a simpler, faster and more transparent way of performing proxy voting,” said Jonathan Smalley, co-founder of the ProxymitySM Platform, Citi. “We look forward to working with Computershare and other key stakeholders across the proxy voting ecosystem to deliver further efficiency and bring additional markets onto the platform.”
Provided by Citi’s Custody and Fund services business, ProxymitySM is a pioneering, end-to-end proxy voting platform that directly connects the issuer and investor, yielding a more efficient, accurate and transparent voting process. Proxymity is an enterprise-ready solution that provides real-time transparency, allowing instant amendment of instructions and much-sought-after confirmation that votes have been recorded at shareholder meetings. Eliminating manual input and interpretation of data, Proxymity helps remove potential data corruption and reduces risk for all participants. Proxymity, founded by Citi employees, Dean Little and Jonathan Smalley through Citi’s D10XSM program, was named “Best Innovation in Service Provision” by Global Custodian. For more information, visit www.proxymity.io
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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About Computershare Limited (CPU)
Computershare (CPU.AX) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. Computershare also specialise in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and a range of other diversified financial and governance services. Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organisations use their services to streamline and maximise the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers. Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 16,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit www.computershare.com.