Citi has successfully tested a new digital proxy voting platform, with four major asset managers set to use it for their annual general meetings (AGM).
The platform, called Proxymity, will be rolled out in the UK market for the 2018 proxy season, with plans for additional expansion later in the year.
Using a core algorithm to streamline the flow of information between intermediaries, the platform eliminates cut-off dates, ensuring investors have the maximum time to reach the AGM and cast their votes through the platform. It also allows issuers to receive votes in real-time.
“Proxymity was created by members of our market-leading custody network team who recognized an opportunity to rethink an outdated system, and it was accelerated by Citi’s internal innovation efforts to ready it for launch,” said Okan Pekin, global head of prime, futures and securities services.
“It reimagines the process and flow of meeting notices and has the potential to disrupt an established market and democratise access for investors whose votes will be enabled by higher efficiency and lower cost.”
Aviva Investors, Legal & General Investment, Standard Life Aberdeen and Robeco are among the asset managers that will use the platform for their AGM.
“We have been involved in many working groups on the issue of post-meeting vote confirmation over the years and we are pleased to see that progress is being made. Transparency in the proxy voting chain is beneficial for investors and issuers,” added Doris Ko, ESG Operations Manager at Aviva Investors.
The underlying Proxymity technology was developed at Citi’s innovation lab in Tel Aviv.