Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in securities law through access to both news and all statutes and regulations. Find relevant corporate filings through a searchable EDGAR database. And...
Corporate America’s ballots are getting the blockchain treatment for the first time in a new test by proxy vote processor Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc.
The digital ledger technology will be used at a handful of U.S.-listed companies this year in tandem with Broadridge’s existing infrastructure, which underpins the vast majority of votes that investors cast on matters such as executive pay and director elections in North America.
Blockchain will allow for a shared record of the shareholder voting process, according to Lyell Dampeer, who’s leading the trials at Broadridge. The process itself won’t change, he said.
“It’s a ledger that replaces multiple recordkeeping systems by creating a single record,” Dampeer told Bloomberg Law. Information, including who can vote and how the vote turns out, will be kept in one blockchain-based record, as opposed to the multiple records now maintained by banks, brokers, and others.
“Those need to be reconciled in real time,” he said. “That’s where blockchain could add real value.”
The firm previously piloted the technology when shareholders voted at Spanish bank Banco Santander SA’s annual meeting last year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Northern Trust Corp. also participated as custodians of the shares being voted.
Santander will use blockchain again this year, along with five to 10 more companies based in the U.S., Dampeer said, declining to name them.
A spokesman for Santander declined to comment.
Blockchain has the potential to make voting more efficient, transparent, and secure, but only if companies, their investors, and others involved in voting all agree to use it. Until then, “it’s difficult to realize the full value,” Dampeer said, because Broadridge is still running its traditional vote process in parallel.
“That said, we strongly believe we need to continue to explore this to understand if we can create value beyond what the current system provides,” said Dampeer, who is president of Broadridge’s investor communication group.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Vittorio in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at email@example.com
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)