Citi Expands Digital Proxy Voting Platform in Europe
Citi has expanded the product capabilities and geographical coverage of ProxymitySM, the innovative digital proxy voting platform connecting issuers to investors directly.
Following the launch of Proxymity in the UK last year, and further to the collaboration between Citi and Computershare, the global market leader in share registration and meeting services, as well as with ISS, the leading proxy advisor, over $22.5 billion USD worth of shares have been processed through the Proxymity platform during UK shareholder meetings.
Building on this success, Citi is now rolling out the platform in Spain and completed a pilot with two leading IBEX 35 companies using the platform for their 2019 general shareholder meetings.
“We are very pleased to have been a part of the pilot phase in Spain and look forward to using the Proxymity platform again for future meetings,” Juan José Zúñiga Benavides, Head of Equity Markets at Iberdrola, said. “It was good to test Proxymity during this season and we know that there is a lot more potential in the platform. There is an opportunity here to solve more of our problems and improve the ease with which our institutional shareholder cast their votes to us.”
Citi rolled out a number of key enhancements in order to successfully complete the pilot in Spain and meet the specific needs of local issuers as well as shareholders of Spanish companies. New features include:
· The inclusion of a second “call date” that extends the voting deadline if issuers do not reach the required quorum of 25% eligible voters for their shareholder meetings.
· A dashboard notification for investors flagging “attendance bonuses”, for those issuers that incentivise participation in their shareholder meetings, either in person or via a proxy.
· The development of a central repository for “golden source” materials, such as meeting agendas and resolutions. This feature is a key addition for investors and issuers in Spain, given the amount of documents circulated in multiple languages for each shareholder meeting. The repository enables all parties in the custodial chain to access the same files in a centralized and secured environment for all meetings supported on the Proxymity platform.
Commenting on the launch of the new pilot, Jon Smalley, Co-Founder of the ProxymitySM platform at Citi said: “The effective and timely addition of new features to enter the Spanish market is testament to the Proxymity team’s ability to adapt to local needs and requirements. As we continue to expand the platform, this agile development strategy will be key to help our users meet the Shareholders Rights Directive II requirements on a market by market basis.”
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