JPMorgan, Northern Trust and Banco Santander have teamed up with vendor Broadridge Financial Solutions to pilot the use of blockchain technology for proxy voting.
The trial was run in support of a corporate issuer’s annual general meeting, with the blockchain tech used to produce a “shadow” digital register of the proxy voting taking place using more traditional means.
Broadridge says using distributed ledger technology gives transparency, offering daily insight into vote progress throughout the issuer’s proxy voting period, from meeting announcement date to the annual general meeting.
The application promises to ensure role-based access to voting data through use of cryptography and smart contract technology and is built on an Ethereum blockchain platform.
Julio Faura, head, blockchain lab, Banco Santander, says: “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.”
In January, Nasdaq reported the successful completion of a proof-of-concept using DLT to streamline proxy voting on companies listed on its Tallinn Stock Exchange, hinting that a wider rollout could be in the pipeline. Canada’s TMX is working on a similar initiative.