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Citi spins off proxy voting platform to industry consortium

Citi spins off proxy voting platform to industry consortium

Citigroup is spinning off its electronic proxy voting platform Proximity to a consortium of banks who are backing the new venture with $20.5 million in fresh capital.

The consortium brings together leading custodians and issuing agents, including BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Computershare, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan, and State Street.

Proxymity’s electronic proxy voting platform provides post-meeting vote confirmation and gives investors up to nine more days per meeting to research and vote. Proxymity also offers a shareholder disclosure facility, which automates shareholder ID requests in industry compliant formats without the need for any manual intervention.

The firm, which will be based in London and led by co-founders Dean Little and Jonathan Smalley, intends to use the capital injection scale the platform for delivery to a wider client base and across a broad range of geographic markets, with an immediate focus on EU markets ahead of the forthcoming SRDII implementation.

Little and Smalley formulated the idea for Proxymity while working in Citi’s Equities and Securities Services (ESS) Custody Product group through an ESS-sponsored innovation program. Working with Citi’s Innovation Lab network and D10XSM programme, the platform was launched in the UK in 2018.

To date, it has supported over 3000 shareholder meeting and been exported to other markets, including Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Australia, as well as a pilot in Spain.

In addition to a commercial team based in London, Proxymity will maintain a technology and R&D team in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Chris Rowland, global head of custody at JPMorgan says: “Proxymity has an opportunity to re-engineer the way investor communications works by automating proxy voting and eliminating the manual processes of old. Together, we will leverage the speed and efficiency of its underlying technology and ensure it achieves scale through industry partnership.”

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