Citi pi­lots new dig­i­tal plat­form to trans­form proxy vot­ing

The Daily News Egypt - - News -

Citi an­nounced on Mon­day, dur­ing the EMEA (Europe Mid­dle East Africa) sum­mit held in Lon­don, the suc­cess­ful pi­lot of a new dig­i­tal proxy vot­ing plat­form, Proxymity SM – at an event which brought to­gether rep­re­sen­ta­tives of more that 50 coun­tries.

Proxymity SM di­rectly con­nects and au­then­ti­cates the is­suer with the in­vestor and makes the vot­ing process more ef­fi­cient, ac­cu­rate and trans­par­ent.The plat­form, which is sup­ported by Com­put­er­share for reg­istry ser­vices, will ini­tially be rolled out in the UK mar­ket for the 2018 proxy sea­son with plans for ad­di­tional mar­ket ex­pan­sion later in 2018.

“Proxymity uses a core al­go­rithm to stream­line the flow of in­for­ma­tion be­tween in­ter­me­di­aries. It eliminates in­ter­me­di­ary cut-off dates en­sur­ing in­vestors have the max­i­mum amount of time to re­search the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) and cast their votes through the plat­form while en­abling is­suers to re­ceive votes in real time. It also of­fers con­fir­ma­tion to the in­vestor that the vote was re­ceived and counted at the meet­ing, pro­vid­ing cer­tainty that their fun­da­men­tal share­holder right has been up­held”, ex­plained Emily Turner, co-head of D10X, Ci­tiVen­tures.

Dur­ing the pi­lot, the Proxymity plat­form was used by key in­vestors at four AGMs, in­clud­ing one FTSE100 meet­ing. Aviva In­vestors, Le­gal & Gen­eral In­vest­ment Man­age­ment, Aberdeen Stan­dard In­vest­ments and Robeco were the key in­vestors involved. The plat­form en­abled the is­suers to en­hance the time­li­ness and ac­cu­racy of meet­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions and im­proved vot­ing cut­off dates for in­vestors by up to five days.

“We have been involved in many work­ing groups on the is­sue of post­meet­ing 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,” Doris Ko, ESG op­er­a­tions man­ager at Aviva In­vestors, said.

Proxymity was con­ceived and de­vel­oped through Citi’s D10XSM Pro­gram, an in­ter­nal strate­gic growth model that en­ables em­ploy­ees to take new busi­ness ideas from con­cept to launch. These em­ploy­ees are coached through a rig­or­ous val­i­da­tion process led by Ci­tiVen­tures and sup­ported by Citi’s global in­no­va­tion labs.

“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, Citi’s 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.”

Paul Conn, pres­i­dent of Com­put­er­share’s global cap­i­tal mar­kets divi­sion, ex­plained that Citi was very in­ter­ested in cre­at­ing ef­fi­cien­cies in the proxy vot­ing process, which cur­rently in­volves mul­ti­ple par­ties in a chain work­ing on dif­fer­ent po­si­tion files and plat­forms. “With ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy and the com­bined net­work of both or­gan­i­sa­tions, we are very ex­cited to con­clude a suc­cess­ful pi­lot and look ahead with con­fi­dence to ex­tend­ing the de­ploy­ment of the plat­form early next year.”, he added.


Richard We­b­ley, head of big data, client strat­egy, and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at Citi

Di­rec­tor of Citi Ven­tures Emily Turner an­nounc­ing the new dig­i­tal plat­form

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