Highlight: Proxymity launches consortium of financial industry heavyweights and raises $20.5 million in strategic round to become its own entity.
- BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Computershare, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, and State Street are Proxymity’s eight investors
- Proxymity, developed by Citi since 2017, to become an independent entity based in London
- Proxymity to leverage new capital to scale the platform and team, build out its investor communications platform, and expand its services to a wider client base and geography.
ProxymitySM, the digital investor communications platform developed within Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, announced that it’s raised $20.5 million in a strategic round of investment and will form its own entity via a global, industry-led consortium. The consortium brings together global and direct custodians and the issuer agents: BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Computershare, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, and State Street.
Proxymity’s services include a real-time and fully transparent electronic proxy voting platform, which is especially valuable amid current remote working arrangements, and a shareholder disclosure platform, which automates shareholder ID requests in industry compliant formats without the need for any manual intervention. Given upcoming regulatory changes, these features will aid financial institutions and compliance teams around the world.
With the investment and consortium, Proxymity expects to significantly scale its platform offerings for a wider client base and across a broad range of geographic markets. The Proxymity team will be based in London. Co-founders Dean Little and Jonathan Smalley, who have over 30 years of combined industry experience in custody product development, have been appointed CEO and COO, respectively.
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.
Thilo Derenbach, head of European Custody Product, Clearstream, said in a statement: “Proxymity represents an important step towards eliminating manual tasks in the investor communications industry and as a result removing inefficiencies and errors from services, such as proxy voting. Clearstream supports this market initiative together with leading market participants to increase efficiency and transparency in the custody chain, improving market development and client experience for European investors and beyond.”
To date, Proxymity has supported over 3,000 shareholder meetings and, after successful pilots, fully launched the platform in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Australia, as well as a pilot in Spain, Little said in a statement. The platform was first launched in the UK in 2018. In addition to a commercial team based in London, Proxymity will maintain a technology and R & D team in Tel Aviv.