Clearstream launches enhanced proxy voting services with ISS
Clearstream today announced the launch of its enhanced proxy voting service in conjunction with Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a leading provider of end-to-end corporate governance solutions. The new service was delivered in advance of the 2012 proxy voting season and covers all Clearstream proxy voting markets and eligible instrument types, including Eurobonds and investment funds, for both the international central securities depository (ICSD) Clearstream Banking Luxembourg and the central securities depository (CSD) for Germany, Clearstream Banking AG.
Clearstream’s new, enhanced proxy voting service provides customers with 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, ProxyExchange™. The enhanced 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 can also manage meetings for assets in the Clearstream securities lending program and vote on positions pledged as collateral as part of the CMS with Clearstream. ISS’ proven solution employs a fully secure application and customer data hosting in Geneva, ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive customer data is maintained.
Phillip Brown, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Client Relations Europe & Americas and Head of Product Management at Clearstream, said: “As the focus on corporate governance intensifies globally, investors increasingly need state-of-the art asset services to support their active ownership initiatives. Our new, enhanced proxy voting solution offers customers a superior quality service across the widest possible set of securities and markets.”
Stephen Harvey, Head of ISS, said: “We are delighted to have delivered Clearstream’s new, enhanced proxy voting service on schedule, in advance of the 2012 proxy season. Clearstream customers will benefit from a market leading proxy voting service, with individualized, high-touch support from a dedicated client service team with in-depth knowledge of local markets and institutional investor needs.”
The extended proxy voting service includes:
- 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
- Customized 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
Global market initiatives such as the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and recent regulatory developments such as the introduction of investor stewardship codes in various markets highlight the important governance role of investors in exercising their active ownership rights, including voting at company meetings. The implementation of the EU Shareholder Rights Directive is working to remove the practical impediments to voting, such as shareblocking, in EU markets. This enhanced solution addresses many of the pain-points, ultimately making it easier for Clearstream’s customers to exercise their voting rights.
ISS, founded in 1985 as Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., is the world's leading provider of proxy advisory and corporate governance solutions to financial market participants. ISS' services include objective proxy research and analysis, end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions, turnkey securities class-action claims management, and reliable governance data and modeling tools. More than 1,700 clients rely on ISS' expertise to help them make informed corporate governance decisions. ISS is located in financial centers worldwide and is a subsidiary of MSCI Inc., a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investors globally.
Nicolas Nonnenmacher, +352-243-36115
Sarah Ball, +44-(0)207-618-2275