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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.|
|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|
|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
|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
|31/05/2017||ESMA71-99-469||ESMA issues principles on supervisory approach to relocations from the UK||Brexit, Press Releases, Supervisory convergence||Press Release||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion setting out general principles aimed at fostering consistency in authorisation, supervision and enforcement related to the relocation of entities, activities and functions from the United Kingdom. The opinion is addressed to national competent authorities (NCAs), in particular of the 27 Member States that will remain in the EU (EU27).
The opinion is a practical tool to support supervisory convergence in the context of increased requests from UK financial market participants seeking to relocate to the EU27. It covers all legislation referred to in the ESMA Regulation, in particular the AIFMD, the UCITS Directive, MiFID I and MiFID II.
|13/07/2017||ESMA71-99-526||ESMA issues sector-specific principles on relocations from the UK to the EU27||Brexit, Press Releases, Supervisory convergence||Press Release||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published three Opinions setting out sector-specific principles in the areas of investment firms, investment management and secondary markets, aimed at fostering consistency in authorisation, supervision and enforcement related to the relocation of entities, activities and functions from the United Kingdom .
The opinions, building on the general opinion issued in May, are practical tools to support supervisory convergence in the context of requests from UK financial market participants seeking to relocate to the EU27. They are addressed to national competent authorities (NCAs) and are relevant for market participants considering relocating.
They provide guidance to NCAs aimed at ensuring a consistent interpretation of the requirements relating to authorisation, supervision and enforcement in order to avoid the development of regulatory and supervisory arbitrage risks.
|27/10/2017||ESMA71-99-623||Press Release on 2017 Enforcement Priorities||Audit, Corporate Disclosure, IFRS Supervisory Convergence, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|13/07/2018||ESMA31-62-962||Consultation Paper on minimum information content for prospectus exemption||Corporate Finance||Consultation Paper||PDF
|13/07/2018||ESMA31-62-996||Consultation Paper on Guidelines on Risk Factors||Corporate Finance||Consultation Paper||PDF
|08/11/2018||ESMA71-99-1055||ESMA proposes a regulatory change to support the Brexit preparations of counterparties to uncleared OTC derivatives||Brexit, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|01/02/2019||ESMA71-99-1096||ESMA and EU securities regulators MoUs with FCA||Board of Supervisors, Brexit, Credit Rating Agencies, Fund Management, Press Releases, Trade Repositories||Press Release||PDF
|04/02/2019||ESMA71-99-1107||ESMA agrees no-deal Brexit MOUs with the Bank of England for recognition of UK CCPs and the UK CSD||Brexit, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|15/02/2019||ESMA71-99-1115||ESMA IOSCO Statement on EDPB Opinion||Corporate Governance, International cooperation||Press Release||PDF
|18/02/2019||ESMA71-99-1114||ESMA to recognise three UK CCPs in the event of a no-deal Brexit||Brexit, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|01/03/2019||ESMA71-99-1119||ESMA to recognise the UK Central Securities Depository- no deal||Brexit, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|05/04/2019||ESMA71-99-1142||ESMA updates its recognition of UK CCPs and CSD||Brexit, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF