Toronto-based Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc. is expanding south of the border, with the launch of a new U.S. division.

The new unit, Kingsdale Shareholder Services US, will offer the same range of services, including governance advice, proxy analytics, voting analytics, and strategic communications, that it currently provides in Canada.

“When Kingsdale was founded 12 years ago we set an ambitious goal: To become the number one shareholder services firm in the world. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to that goal as we build our global platform,” said Kingsdale CEO and founder, Wes Hall.

“I believe this step will be a game changer for proxy solicitation in the U.S. and will act as a springboard for Kingsdale’s future plans in Europe and Australia,” said Miles Nadal, chairman and CEO of MDC Partners Inc. (Nasdaq:MDCA), which holds a majority partnership interest in Kingsdale.

The new venture will be led by Joseph Spedale as president, Kingsdale Shareholder Services US. A 40-year veteran of the proxy solicitation industry, Spedale was most recently executive vice president, head of sales & business development at Georgeson.

“I expect companies will experience an increase in shareholder activism in 2015 as activist funds continue to see an inflow of capital and some of the more traditional investors are becoming more sympathetic to the activist strategy,” Spedale said. “I also believe 2015 is shaping up to be a very active year for M&A as strategic buyers will look to capitalize on large cash reserves, favorable credit markets and lending environment as well as historically low interest rates.”