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|14/09/2011||2011/288||Call for evidence- Empty voting||Corporate Disclosure, Corporate Governance, Transparency||Consultation Paper||PDF
|22/03/2012||2012/212||Discussion Paper- An Overview of the Proxy Advisory Industry. Considerations on Possible Policy Options||Corporate Disclosure, Corporate Governance||Consultation Paper||PDF
|This Discussion Paper focuses on the development of the proxy advisory industry in Europe, which mainly serves institutional investors such as asset managers, mutual funds and pension funds. Following its fact-finding work in 2011, ESMA recognises the proxy advisory industry within Europe is, or is expected to be, growing in prominence and investors are, or are expected to be, increasingly using proxy advisor services. In this paper ESMA identifies several key issues related to the proxy advisory market which may have an impact on the proper functioning of the voting process. The range of policy options that ESMA will consider, and on which it seeks further input from market participants, consists of four broad areas, including: 1. No EU-level action at this stage 2. Encouraging Member States and/or industry to develop standards 3. Quasi-binding EU-level regulatory instruments 4. Binding EU-level legislative instruments ESMA will consider these options based on the feedback it receives from market participants, and, if appropriate, will undertake further policy action, either directly or by providing an opinion to the European Commission. The reason to bring up some policy options is due to the fact that proxy advisors are currently not regulated at a pan-European level. Nevertheless, there are relevant European rules that apply to investors (e.g. for UCITS management companies when exercising voting rights). In addition, there are also well-recognised corporate governance standards that apply to issuers at a national level (based on the “comply or explain approach”) and some complements to improve standards of stewardship among investors. All feedback received from this Discussion Paper will be duly considered. ESMA expects to publish a feedback statement in Q4 of 2012 which will summarise the responses received and will state ESMA’s view on whether there is a need for policy action in this area.|
|27/03/2012||2012/224||ESMA seeks views on proxy advisors||Press Releases, Corporate Governance, Corporate Disclosure||Press Release||PDF
|ESMA published last Thursday a discussion paper (ESMA/2012/212) on proxy advisors active in the European Union, seeking views of stakeholders. The paper aims at giving an overview of the state and structure of the market, advisor’s methodologies, and on possible policy options. Generally, proxy advisors assist (institutional) investors and asset managers in their voting policy and strategy. Currently, there are no rules in place on a pan-European basis regarding proxy advisors. ESMA will use the feedback received on this paper to publish a feedback statement in Q4 of 2012, which will also include ESMA’s view on whether there is a need for policy action in the area.|
|07/05/2012||2012/278||Call for evidence on Transaction reporting||Market Integrity||Consultation Paper||PDF
|This call for evidence seeks to collect interested parties’ views on what elements ESMA should consider in its work on guidelines on harmonised transaction reporting, as well as opinions on what areas of the OTC derivatives guidelines need to be updated. On the basis of responses received to this call for evidence, ESMA will define its further work on guidelines on harmonised transaction reporting and launch a full public consultation.|
|19/02/2013||2013/240||ESMA recommends EU Code of Conduct for proxy advisor industry||Press Releases, Corporate Governance, Corporate Disclosure||Press Release||PDF
|12/11/2013||2013/1645||ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations||Corporate Disclosure, Corporate Governance, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|ESMA clarifies shareholder cooperation in takeover situations The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a statement on practices governed by the Takeover Bid Directive (TBD), focused on shareholder cooperation issues relating to acting in concert and the appointment of board members. The statement contains a White List of activities that shareholders can cooperate on without the presumption of acting in concert. It also contains information on how shareholders may cooperate in order to secure board member appointments by setting out factors that national authorities may take into account when considering whether shareholders are acting in concert. The statement is in response to a request by the European Commission for clarity on these issues, following its 2012 report on the application of the TBD. It is based on information collected about the TBD’s application and common practices across the European Economic Area (EEA). The statement was prepared by the Takeover Bids Network, a permanent working group, under ESMA’s auspices, that promotes the exchange of information on practices and application of the TBD across EEA. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “Today’s statement means that shareholders can now be confident that they can expect authorities to take a consistent approach across the EEA to their cooperative activities. This consistency should in turn provide the reassurance needed by shareholders for the effective, sustainable engagement that is one of the cornerstones of listed companies’ corporate governance model allowing them to hold their boards to account. “ESMA believes that ensuring a consistent and convergent supervisory approach to this issue will be instrumental in affording equality of treatment to shareholders and investors across the EEA.” National competent authorities will have regard to the White List when determining whether shareholders are persons acting in concert under national takeover rules, but will also take into account all other relevant factors in making their decisions. Shareholder cooperation and acting in concert - The White List When shareholders cooperate to engage in any of the activities listed below, that cooperation will not, in and of itself, lead to a conclusion that the shareholders are acting in concert: 1. entering into discussions with each other about possible matters to be raised with the company’s board; 2. making representations to the company’s board about company policies, practices or particular actions that the company might consider taking; 3. other than in relation to the appointment of board members, exercising shareholders’ statutory rights; 4. other than in relation to a resolution for the appointment of board members and insofar as such a resolution is provided for under national company law, agreeing to vote the same way on a particular resolution put to a general meeting. If shareholders cooperate in an activity not included on the White List, this will also not result in an automatic assumption that they are acting in concert. Each case will be determined on its own particular facts. Cooperation in relation to the appointment of members of the board of a company The White List does not include any activity relating to cooperation on board appointments, due to differences in Member State approaches towards determining whether shareholders who cooperate in relation to board appointments are acting in concert. However, shareholders may wish to cooperate in order to secure board members’ appointment in a company in which they have invested. This cooperation might take the form of: 1. entering into an agreement or arrangement (informal or formal) to exercise their votes in the same way in order to support the appointment of one or more board members; 2. tabling a resolution to remove one or more board members and replace them with one or more new board members; or 3. tabling a resolution to appoint one or more additional board members. The statement therefore indicates which factors may be considered when assessing whether such cooperation is indeed an act of acting in concert. ESMA will keep the public statement under review in order to ensure that it continues to reflect accurately the practices and application of the TBD in the Member States. 2013/1642 Public Statement - Information on shareholder cooperation and acting in concert under the Takeover Bids Directive. 2013/1643 Cover Note to the Public Statement|
|14/11/2013||2013/1649||ESMA’s policy orientations on possible implementing measures under the Market Abuse Regulation||Market Abuse, Market Integrity||Consultation Paper||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Discussion Paper setting out its initial views on the implementing measures it will have to develop for the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). MAR aims to enhance market integrity and investor protection. It will achieve this by updating and strengthening the existing market abuse framework, by extending its scope to new markets and trading strategies, and by introducing new requirements. The Discussion Paper presents positions and regulatory options on those issues where ESMA will have to develop MAR implementing measures, likely to include Regulatory Technical Standards, Delegated Acts and Guidelines. These implementing measures are of fundamental importance to the new regime, as they set out how MAR’s enlarged scope is to be implemented in practice by market participants, trading platforms, investors, issuers and persons related to financial markets. In developing these regulatory options ESMA, where similar requirements already exist under the current Market Abuse Directive (MAD), has taken into consideration the existing MAD Level 2 texts and ESMA/CESR guidelines to set out the DP positions in light of the extended scope of MAR. This Discussion Paper is based on the version of the MAR Level 1 text agreed by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on 24 June 2013. Consultation Reference 2013/1649 Closing date for responses Monday, 27 January 2014 Contact market.integrity[at]esma.europa.eu|
|14/11/2013||2013/1650||ESMA begins preparatory work for new Market Abuse Regime||Market Abuse, Market Integrity, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|ESMA begins preparatory work for new Market Abuse Regime The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Discussion Paper setting out its initial views on the implementing measures it will have to develop for the new Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). MAR aims to enhance market integrity and investor protection. It will achieve this by updating and strengthening the existing market abuse framework, by extending its scope to new markets and trading strategies, and by introducing new requirements. The Discussion Paper presents positions and regulatory options on those issues where ESMA will have to develop MAR implementing measures, likely to include Regulatory Technical Standards, Delegated Acts and Guidelines. These implementing measures are of fundamental importance to the new regime, as they set out how MAR’s enlarged scope is to be implemented in practice by market participants, trading platforms, investors, issuers and persons related to financial markets. In developing these regulatory options ESMA, where similar requirements already exist under the current Market Abuse Directive (MAD), has taken into consideration the existing MAD Level 2 texts and ESMA/CESR guidelines to set out the DP positions in light of the extended scope of MAR. This Discussion Paper is based on the version of the MAR Level 1 text agreed by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on 24 June 2013. The closing date for responses is Monday 27 January 2014. MAR Policy Areas The DP covers ten sections of MAR where ESMA is expected to have to provide input, these include: • conditions to be met by buyback programmes and stabilization measures to benefit from the exemption from market abuse prohibitions; • arrangement and procedures required for market soundings, from the perspective of both the sounding and the sounded market participants; • indicators and signals of market manipulation; • criteria to establish Accepted Market Practices; • arrangement, systems and procedures to put in place for the purpose of suspicious transactions and order reporting as well as its content and format; • issues relating to public disclosure of inside information and the conditions for delay; • format for insider lists; • issues concerning the reporting and public disclosure of managers’ transactions; • arrangements for fair presentation and disclosure of conflicts of interests by producers and disseminators of investment recommendations; • reporting of violations and related procedures. Next steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation in Q1 2014 and incorporate it in to its full consultation papers on both its draft Technical Standards and Technical Advice to the Commission. The dates for these consultations are will depend on the publication of the final version of MAR. Notes for editors 1. 2013/1649 Discussion Paper - ESMA’s policy orientations on possible implementing measures under the Market Abuse Regulation 2. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse) (MAR) 3. ESMA is an independent EU Authority that was established on 1 January 2011 and works closely with the other European Supervisory Authorities responsible for banking (EBA), and insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA), and the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). 4. ESMA’s mission is to enhance the protection of investors and promote stable and well-functioning financial markets in the European Union (EU). As an independent institution, ESMA achieves this aim by building a single rule book for EU financial markets and ensuring its consistent application across the EU. ESMA contributes to the regulation of financial services firms with a pan-European reach, either through direct supervision or through the active co-ordination of national supervisory activity. Press Release 2013/1650 Discussion Paper 2013/1649|
|10/11/2014||2014/1352||Consultation Paper on review of the technical standards on reporting under Article 9 of EMIR||Market Integrity||Consultation Paper||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published a consultation paper on the revision of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and implementing technical standards (ITS) in relation to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The ESMA RTS/ ITS deal with the obligation of counterparties' and CCP's to report to trade repositories. Since the entry into force of the RTS and ITS, ESMA has worked on ensuring their consistent application. The practical implementation of EMIR reporting showed some shortcomings and highlighted particular instances for improvements so that the EMIR reports better fulfil their objectives. ESMA revised standards propose to clarify the interpretation of the data fields needed for the reporting to trade repositories and the most appropriate way of populating them. ESMA will consider stakeholder's feedback to the proposed revised standards by 13 February 2015.|
|08/06/2015||2015/920||Impact of the Best Practice Principles for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis||Corporate Disclosure, Corporate Governance||Consultation Paper||PDF
|Responding to this Call for Evidence ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper and in particular on the specific questions presented throughout the paper. Comments are most helpful, if they:a. respond to the question stated;b. indicate the specific question to which they relate; andc. contain a clear rationale. ESMA will consider all comments received by 27 July 2015. All contributions should be submitted online at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading ‘Your input - Consultations’. Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the Call for Evidence, unless you request otherwise. Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publically disclosed. A standard confidentiality statement in an email message will not be treated as a request for non-disclosure. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with ESMA’s rules on access to documents. We may consult you, if we receive such a request. Any decision we make not to disclose the response is reviewable by ESMA’s Board of Appeal and the European Ombudsman.Data protection Information on data protection can be found at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading Legal Notice.Who should read this Call for Evidence This Call for Evidence will be of relevance to persons and entities participating in the voting chain, particularly proxy advisors, investors, companies listed in Europe, proxy solicitors and consultants.|
|18/12/2015||2015/1871||Proxy advisors take steps towards increased transparency||Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|28/01/2016||2016/162||Consultation paper- Draft Guidelines on the Market Abuse Regulation||Market Abuse, Market Integrity||Consultation Paper||PDF
|15/02/2016||2016/288||Discussion Paper Benchmarks Regulation||Market Integrity, Benchmarks||Consultation Paper||PDF
|15/02/2016||2016/291||ESMA consults on implementation of the Benchmarks Regulation||Market Integrity, Press Releases, Benchmarks||Press Release||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published a Discussion Paper (DP) regarding the technical implementation of the incoming Benchmarks Regulation (BR). ESMA is seeking stakeholder’s input to inform its future proposals on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) and Technical Advice (TA) to the European Commission.
Benchmarks are used in financial markets as a reference to price financial instruments and to measure performance of investment funds, as well as being an important element of many financial contracts and their integrity is critical to financial markets and to investors in particular. The BR’s objective is to improve the governance and control over the benchmark process, thereby ensuring their reliability and protecting users. The changes aim to:
Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:
“The Benchmark Regulation, once implemented, will ensure the accuracy, robustness and integrity of benchmarks and the benchmark setting process by clarifying the behaviours and standards expected of administrators and contributors. These requirements will ensure that benchmarks are produced in a transparent and reliable manner and so contribute to well-functioning and stable markets, and investor protection.
“ESMA, in preparing for its work on regulatory technical standards and technical advice, is keen to ensure that all affected stakeholders have their views heard on this important topic and we hope that all interested parties will take this opportunity to contribute.”
The DP is seeking stakeholder’s feedback in the following areas:
The exact date when the Benchmarks Regulation will enter into force is still unknown as it has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the EU.
ESMA will hold an open hearing on the DP on 29 February 2016 in Paris. It will use the responses to its DP to develop detailed implementing measures on which it will publish a follow-up consultation in Q3 2016.
|27/05/2016||2016/723||Consultation Paper on ESMA technical advice on Benchmarks Regulation||Market Integrity, Benchmarks||Consultation Paper||PDF
|30/09/2016||2016/1409||Draft RTS and ITS under SFTR and amendments to related EMIR RTS||Post Trading, Securities Financing Transactions||Consultation Paper||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing this Consultation Paper as part of its consultations on Level 2 measures under the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) as well as certain amendments to the Level 2 measures under EMIR in order to take into account legal developments as well as to ensure consistency, where relevant, between the frameworks of both regulations
Section 1 is the executive summary of the document. Section 2 explains the background to our proposals. Section 3 includes detailed information on the procedure and criteria for registration as TR under SFTR. Section 4 details the use of internationally agreed reporting standards, the reporting logic under SFTR and the main aspects of the structure of an SFT report. Section 5 covers the requirements regarding transparency of data and aggregation and comparison of data. Section 6 details the access levels of authorities. Section 7 contains the tables of fields, for the relevant types of SFTs, as well as a summary of all the questions.
ESMA will consider the feedback it received to this document in the fourth quarter of 2016. The final report and the draft technical standards will be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement by the end of Q1/beginning Q2 2017.
|30/09/2016||2016/1411||ESMA consults on future reporting rules for securities financing transactions||Post Trading, Press Releases, Securities Financing Transactions||Press Release||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued today a consultation paper on draft technical standards implementing the Securities Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR), which aims to increase the transparency of shadow banking activities. Securities financing transactions (SFTs) are transactions where securities are used to borrow cash (or other higher investment-grade securities), or vice versa – this includes repurchase transactions, securities lending and sell/buy-back transactions.
|10/11/2016||2016-1564||ESMA prepares for new International Financial Reporting Standard 9||Audit, Corporate Disclosure, IFRS Supervisory Convergence, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|07/07/2017||ESMA70-145-127||Consultation paper on the evaluation of the short-selling regulation||Market Integrity, Short Selling||Consultation Paper||PDF
|27/10/2017||ESMA71-99-623||Press Release on 2017 Enforcement Priorities||Audit, Corporate Disclosure, IFRS Supervisory Convergence, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF