Financial industry leaders launch spin-out
A consortium of financial industry leaders has launched digital investor communications platform Proxymity.
Proxymity was developed within Citi’s Institutional Clients Group but will become its own entity based in London following a £16.6m strategic round of investment.
BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Computershare, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, and State Street comprise the Proxymity consortium.
These global institutions say they are committed to delivering Proxymity’s vision of enhancing the investor communications ecosystem and providing significant benefits to the global market.
Its services include a real-time and fully transparent electronic proxy voting platform, which is especially valuable amid current remote working arrangements. The 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 platform, which automates shareholder ID requests in industry compliant formats without the need for any manual intervention.
Proxymity will now significantly scale its platform offerings so that it can deliver its services to a wider client base and across a broad range of geographic markets.
Co-founders Dean Little and Jonathan Smalley, who have over 30 years of combined industry experience in custody product development, have been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively.
“We’re extremely proud of what Proxymity has achieved so far within Citi since we developed the platform in 2017,” said Little.
“To date, Proxymity has supported over 3,000 shareholder meetings and, after successful pilots, we’ve fully launched the platform in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Australia, as well as a pilot in Spain.
“The establishment of this strong consortium is a vote of confidence in Proxymity’s future and overall vision and we look forward to growing the team and suite of products to deliver Proxymity to more institutions around the world.”
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.
As the idea for the platform evolved, Citi’s Innovation Lab network and D10XSM program, an internal strategic growth process that nurtures the development and launch of business solutions across Citi’s businesses, helped Proxymity iterate and evaluate its vision to improve the proxy voting system. The platform was first launched in the UK in 2018.
“Proxymity exemplifies the power of innovation that comes from within a global institution like Citi and the pace at which we can drive change at scale,” shared Emily Turner, Head of Innovation & Business Development, Citi Institutional Clients Group.
“Because of Dean and Jon’s deep expertise and understanding of the problems issuers and investors face, Citi immediately saw the potential for Proxymity and we were excited to support the development of this platform.”