Last week the Financial Reporting Council issued their first ever guidance on Good Practice for Company meetings. Firstly, we at Proxymity welcome this report, and congratulate the FRC on helping to drive good governance across the industry. The report is targeted at helping companies large and small navigate the new normal world of hybrid meetings and technology driven processes.
Being at the heart of innovation and technology developments for investor communications, Proxymity were delighted to be part of the working group that agreed the seven principles that are core to the new guidance.
Proxymity’s Global Head of Business Development, Michael Kempe, represented Proxymity, providing both practical insights and deep expertise gleaned from our unique and transparent servicing of many companies in the sector, including several of the world’s leading financial institutions, and collaborated with other industry bodies including the Dept. for business, Energy and Business Strategy, (BEIS) the Assoc. of investment Companies, and the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland.
Our collaborations with the FRC and this group further demonstrates Proxymity’s commitment to improve governance and investor communications in a connected world for all by connecting issuers and investors through a transparent, real-time, and efficient digital ecosystem. The development of best practices for meetings, proxy voting and disclosure are critical for the efficient running of markets and Proxymity has been delighted to offer practical support to this important initiative.
As mentioned in the report, ‘Integrity, accountability and transparency are essential for good governance.’ This statement stands as the core value of Proxymity’s mission since day one, and it is also enforced by the support of Proxymity’s global group of investors that includes seven of the top ten global custodians, managing over $200 trillion in assets under custody.
In the report, the FRC encourages companies to seize the opportunity to maximise shareholder engagement by embracing innovative technologies, and Proxymity is at the heart of this change, providing full support towards each of the seven principles listed by the FRC. For example:
Proxymity is driving Principle 1 which underlines how critical clarity is to any investor communication “information disseminated prior to the general meeting must offer clear instructions on how to attend the meeting and participate, in order to enable effective shareholder engagement.”
Through our partnerships with the largest registrars “golden source” meeting announcements are sent via the Proxymity platform in real time to investors meaning that, for the many hundreds of meetings in the UK in 2022 already, issuer information is disseminated many days quicker than previously or via other methods.
Principle 5 states “Shareholders should be able to cast their vote in real-time or submit a voting instruction in advance via the appointment of a proxy, depending on the format of a meeting. Companies should use appropriate technology to ensure that shareholders have the ability to appoint proxies and send instructions to proxies prior to the meeting.”
This principle is core to the Proxymity model and Proxymity’s customers and UK issuers already benefit from this technology as our platform provides real-time data valued by many. Our industry-leading solutions include real-time and fully transparent digital proxy voting and automating shareholder disclosure requests in industry compliant formats without the need for any manual intervention.
Since its launch in April 2020, Proxymity has provided digital access to over 12,000 meetings in over twenty-five markets worldwide, with approximately half of all FTSE 100 companies, and over a third of FTSE 250 companies already choosing to utilise Proxymity for real time voting.
Effective and transparent shareholder engagement should not be limited to an annual event. Opportunities to update shareholders on company matters should be offered throughout the year, with an emphasis on ensuring all shareholders have access to similar information.
Proxymity Shareholder ID helps issuers identify the point of contact for their shareholders in order to engage with them effectively, enabling this not just once but all year around. Proxymity is one of the largest providers of shareholder identification in Europe and is backed by some of the world’s largest financial institutions (Citi, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, HSBC, and State Street).
If you would like to learn more about the report, the seven principles and how Proxymity can support your best-practice ambitions today, please click the link below: