Citi has rolled out its new digital proxy voting platform, ProxymitySM, following a comprehensive pilot scheme with some of Europe’s largest asset managers.
Following a collaboration with Computershare, a global share registration and meeting services provider, both companies are able to deliver 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, eight of which were for FTSE100 companies, and the platform is on track to support up to 200 meetings in the UK throughout 2018.
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 investor votes in real-time.
The pilot was launched in November last year with Aviva Investors, Legal & General Investment, Standard Life Aberdeen and Robeco agreeing to use the platform at four Annual General Meetings, including one FTSE100 meeting.
“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.
Proxymity was one of the first initiatives to be launched out of Citi’s London-based Citi D1OX programme. The platform was developed by employees of Citi’s custody and fund services business, along with technology from Citi’s Tel Aviv innovation lab.
In March, Citi’s Proxymity won Global Custodian’s Innovation in Securities Services technology award for its potential to disrupt manual corporate actions and proxy voting processes.
“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, Computershare.