The proof of concept used a distributed ledger technology to create a ‘shadow’ digital register of the proxy voting taking place, providing insight into the process throughout the complete voting period from announcement of the meeting date to the annual general meeting itself.
It is intended to improve transparency and analytics in proxy voting, and to allow for role-based access to voting data through cryptography and smart contract technology.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain platform, the pilot supported the annual general meeting of a corporate issuer, with participation from the issuer’s agent Santander Investment.
Vijay Mayadas, senior vice president and global head of corporate strategy at Broadridge, said: “This 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 for all.”
He added: “We believe blockchain will drive increased quality and efficiency in the voting chain by reducing complexity that exists within the process today.”
Justin Chapman, global head of market advocacy and innovation research at Northern Trust, commented: “Corporate governance is a key focus for our custody clients and we are pleased to collaborate with Broadridge on this important initiative.”
He said: “Providing end-to-end vote transparency using blockchain as an enabler has the potential to significantly improve the proxy voting process.”