AST Is Accelerating Development Of Blockchain Technologies

AST is a financial services firm with a 45-year reputation for protecting the financial data of some of the most influential companies in the world. NuArca is a blockchain and machine learning firm seeking to provide trusted solutions to a trustless internet.

With NuArca’s help, AST is delivering a blockchain-enabled service for proxy vote tabulation by the start of the 2018 proxy season.

AST is also accelerating the rollout of its offerings based on blockchain technology and exploring how it can leverage the technology to enhance its other client-facing solutions, including recordkeeping.

Chris Jutkiewicz, Chief Technology Officer at AST, told ETHNews that AST has a unique advantage by partnering with experts at NuArca:

“The partnership with NuArca is a joint effort to bring blockchain based solution(s) to market. AST is a leader in proxy solicitation and tabulation for both corporate and mutual fund issuers…the founders of NuArca are industry leaders who have a proven track record of bringing to market disruptive technologies that have changed the face of an industry. The ability to partner with the experts at NuArca, coupled with the depth of development resources supporting them, provides AST a unique advantage in our ability to think outside the box and execute in an agile mode without disrupting day-to-day operations.”

According to a company announcement, AST has been testing a multitude of use cases for distributed ledger technology.

Todd Cooper, Managing Director and co-founder of NuArca, revealed to ETHNews how blockchain technology may play a role in this partnership’s efforts:

“At the moment, in the proxy vote management market, there is a significant lag time between votes being sent and achieving enough confidence in the results to provide issuers with meaningful analytics. As part of this offering, we will use machine learning to compare historic voting records and up-to-date distribution of votes with voter demographics to provide predictive analytics.”

Both companies are believers in the agile software development methodology and are ripe with industry contacts. This suggests a software tool designed to exploit the built-in transparency of a blockchain for proxy-related services. A potential tool which has undergone agile development would have been constructed from the ground up with heavy input from clients. 

“This initiative demonstrates AST’s focus on innovative, client-centric solutions that will positively change the way we interact with our clients and partners,” said Jutkiewicz. “We are taking a practical approach to furthering the promise of blockchain technology in the financial service industry.”

AST was founded in Brooklyn in 1971 as a stocks and bonds transfer agent. The firm has thrived off of leveraging its products and services into industry partnerships, allowing it to manage 40 percent of yearly marketplace IPOs. NuArca is a small start-up founded in Massachusetts in 2016 that employs experts in emerging software technologies, specifically AI and blockchain. Industry professionals will have to wait to see what exactly this partnership has been working on. The track records of each firm suggest something big.