Clearstream, the post-trade services provider of Deutsche Börse Group, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading provider of end-to-end corporate governance solutions.
Clearstream will employ the ISS infrastructure to enhance its proxy voting service for all eligible instruments and Clearstream proxy voting markets, for both its business as International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) and as Central Securities Depository (CSD) for Germany. The new service will be in place in February 2012, in time for next year's proxy voting season.
The extended service is designed to support domestic and cross border shareholders in their governance rights and to help promote active participation in line with recent market initiatives, such as the EU Shareholders Rights Directive. Clearstream customers will benefit from extensive and timely information throughout the lifecycle of a meeting, with a range of flexible service options, including the ability to send and/or receive information via SWIFT and through the ISS online system, ProxyExchangeTM. The improved proxy voting service combines the Eurobond, equities, fixed income and investment fund expertise of Clearstream with the deep knowledge of local market practice of ISS. Customers will also be able to manage their share lending activity and vote on positions pledged as collateral with Clearstream.
Philip Brown, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Client Relations Europe & Americas at Clearstream, said: "We want to support investors in applying their voting rights, thus promoting active ownership. We have therefore improved our core asset services to anticipate regulatory requirements in this domain. Even if customers are not voting today, increased focus on corporate governance suggests that they are likely to want to tomorrow. Our proxy voting solution will offer customers a superior quality service across the widest possible set of securities and markets."
Stephen Harvey, Head of ISS, said: "A comprehensive proxy voting service is an essential component of a credible suite of asset services. Clearstream customers will benefit from a market leading proxy voting service, taking the friction out of the process and enabling customers to focus on their corporate governance responsibilities. At the same time, our proven solution employs a fully secure application and customer data hosting in Geneva, ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive customer data is maintained."
The extended proxy voting service will include:
* Proactive meeting monitoring on a 24/7 basis
* Coverage of all Clearstream proxy voting markets
* Coverage of all Clearstream eligible assets including Eurobonds and Investment Funds
* Coverage for core custody, securities lending and collateral management products
* Support of SWIFT ISO15022 and ISO20022 formats
* Sophisticated online tool for reporting and voting
* Customised alerts
* English translations of original source documents available online (where applicable)
* Competitive instruction deadlines
* Proactive Power of Attorney management, including reminder issuance
* Confirmation of vote status
* Support from single point of contact and expert-to-expert customer service models, as per customer choice