Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Strate (Pty) Ltd, the South African CSD, announced today an agreement for Nasdaq to deliver a new blockchain solution that would bring electronic voting to the South African capital markets. The solution will allow Strate, in conjunction with key stakeholders in the market, to provide general meeting services and give shareholders an easy, user-friendly and secure tool for voting remotely. The solution is based on the successful proof of concept (PoC) developed for Nasdaq’s Estonia market. In addition, Strate will contribute to the ongoing market development of e-Voting technology.
“We are very excited about our initiative with Nasdaq and what it means for the South African financial markets,” said Tanya Knowles, Managing Executive of Fractal Solutions, a division of Strate (Pty) Ltd. “One needs to understand that the environment at the moment is very administratively intensive, which means there are many inefficiencies and risks associated with it. This is not ideal in today’s electronic age, as technology like blockchain can serve as a solution. The solution aims to service our clients’ needs across the market from transfer secretaries to issuers, custodians, asset managers and those holding shares in listed companies. Given that it is an end-to-end solution – from the time a meeting is announced and all the way through the voting process to the publishing of results – it means that all stakeholders will truly benefit within the process.”
“A major indicator of progress in the capital markets is when technology not only bolsters performance, but also improves efficiency and transparency,” said Lars Ottersgård, Executive Vice President and Head of Market Technology, Nasdaq. “By leveraging blockchain, we are able to reduce friction in the voting and proxy assignment process and also ensure that all information is transparent to stakeholders when required and with the proper security, governance and risk procedures in place. We are proud to welcome Strate and the South African capital markets to the Nasdaq family and to support their efforts in evolving their governance processes through new technological innovation.”
Benefits to Shareholders, Issuers and Proxies:
- Remote participation and proxy assignment;
- Submitting votes before and/or voting during the general meeting;
- Secure (multifactor) identification of shareholders and their representatives;
- Information about meetings, agenda items and management proposals is easily reachable;
- Full track record of assigned proxies (i.e. chain of proxies) and casted votes;
- Online / real-time access to voting results;
- Data is saved in an immutable ledger;
- Transparency and auditability of voting results for listed companies; and
- The end-to-end management of general meetings from announcement to results.
Benefits to CSDs, Exchanges and Market Infrastructures:
- Reduced complexity through end-to-end general meeting administration in a single solution – from notification and material distribution to voting management and reporting at the general meeting;
- Enhanced insight through real-time data access to securities holders, holdings and votes and ability to view full voting history on a single account;
- Safety, security and speed benefits of leveraging blockchain technology with a fully auditable view of actions recorded in the immutable ledger; and
- A standard Application Programme Interface.
As a South African Central Securities Depository, Strate is licensed to be an independent provider of post-trade products and services for the financial markets. Its pioneering and innovative solutions to deliver reliable exchange of value settlement systems are built on an 18-year foundation of trust. Being internationally recognised as a Financial Market Infrastructure, Strate provides sound risk management and a world-class service, priding itself on its high levels of operational excellence to support and promote the safety and efficiency of the financial markets.
Strate provides electronic settlement of equities, bonds and money market securities and provides collateral management services. It offers an asset servicing product range to augment the services it offers to issuers in terms of the Companies Act No. 71 of 2008 and the Financial Markets Act No. 19 of 2012.
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Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 90 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to approximately 3,900 total listings with a market value of approximately $12 trillion. To learn more, visit: https://business.nasdaq.com
Nasdaq’s market infrastructure technologies, including trading, real-time risk, index, clearing, CSD and market surveillance systems are operated in more than 100 marketplaces, regulators, clearinghouses and central securities depositories across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.