Broadridge Financial Solutions, JPMorgan, Northern Trust, and Banco Santander successfully completed a blockchain pilot designed to increase transparency in the proxy voting process, the group announced.
The pilot was Broadridge’s first application of blockchain. The application used blockchain technology to track vote progress throughout the proxy voting process. Built on the Ethereum platform and using smart contracts, the application provides role-based access to voting data.
It was run in parallel with the corporate issuer’s annual general meeting, acting as a “shadow” digital copy of the proxy voting.
Vijay Mayadas, senior vice president and global head of corporate strategy at Broadridge, said the pilot and the technology solution it wants to foster could improve corporate governance.
“The pilot demonstrates Broadridge’s commitment to developing innovative technology solutions to enhance transparency in the global proxy voting process for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders, ultimately improving corporate governance,” Mayadas said. “We believe blockchain will drive increased quality and efficiency in the voting chain by reducing the complexity that exists within the process today.”
Broadridge’s proxy voting blockchain pilot is not the only distributed ledger proxy voting test. Russia’s central securities depository, National Settlements Depository, also built and piloted a blockchain prototype for proxy voting in April last year.
Julio Faura, head of Banco Santander’s Blockchain Lab, said the pilot opened possibilities for what blockchain can achieve.
“After piloting this blockchain-based platform with Broadridge, we see that proxy voting makes an interesting case where distributed ledgers and smart contracts can add transparency and efficiency to financial services, to the benefit of our corporate and institutional clients,” he said.
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