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|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.|
|12/09/2012||2012/571||Julie Galbo joins ESMA’s Management Board||Board of Supervisors||Press Release||PDF
|19/02/2013||2013/240||ESMA recommends EU Code of Conduct for proxy advisor industry||Press Releases, Corporate Governance, Corporate Disclosure||Press Release||PDF
|04/07/2013||2013/889||ESMA Vice Chair and Management Board Election Results||Management Board, Board of Supervisors||Press Release||PDF
|ESMA Vice Chair and Management Board Election Results Vice Chair Re-elected The Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has re-elected Carlos Tavares as its Vice Chair. Mr. Tavares, who is Chairman of the Portuguese Comissão Do Mercado De Valores Mobiliários (CMVM), has completed an initial 2½ year term and will now serve a further term of 2½ years in the position. Management Board Election The terms of three members of ESMA’s Management Board expired and elections were held by the Board of Supervisors to fill the positions for a term of 2½ years. Those elected are: Kostas Botopoulos, Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC), Greece – new member; Klaus Kumpfmüller, Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA), Austria – new member; and Martin Wheatley, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom –re-elected for a second term. The outgoing members were Karl-Burkhard Caspari from the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) of Germany and Raul Malmstein of Estonia’s, Finantsinspektsioon. The Management Board, chaired by Steven Maijoor, the ESMA Chair, is responsible for ensuring that the Authority carries out its mission and performs the tasks assigned to it under the Regulation. The Management Board now consists of: Steven Maijoor, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA); Kostas Botopoulos, Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC), Greece; Klaus Kumpfmüller, Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA), Austria; Jean Guill, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), Luxembourg; Gérard Rameix, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France; Julie Galbo, Finanstilsynet, Denmark and Martin Wheatley, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom. Reference 2013/889|
|18/07/2013||2013/992||ESMA finalises supervisory co-operation agreements for alternative investment||Fund Management, Press Releases, International cooperation||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|
|27/03/2014||2014/332||Structured Retail Products- Good practices for product governance arrangements||MiFID - Investor Protection, Innovation and Products||Opinion||PDF
|Legal basis 1. Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation) sets out the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) scope of action, tasks and powers which include “enhancing customer protection”, and “foster[ing] investor protection”. 2. In order to continue delivering on this investor protection statutory objective, ESMA is issuing this opinion on certain aspects linked to the manufacturing and distribution of structured retail products (SRP). This opinion takes into account relevant work done in this field both at European and interna-tional level. 3. This opinion is without prejudice to the requirements for the provision of investment services and activities established in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and its implementing measures (notably, Directive 2006/73/EC), the regulatory developments arising from the MiFID review or existing product rules that may apply to SRPs. 4. ESMA’s competence to deliver an opinion is based on Article 29(1) (a) of the ESMA Regulation. In accordance with Article 44(1) of the ESMA Regulation, the Board of Supervisors has adopted this opinion. Background 5. In its July 2013 report on ‘Retailisation in the EU’ , ESMA highlighted that, from a consumer protec-tion perspective, retail investors may face difficulties in understanding the drivers of risks and returns of structured products. If retail investors do not properly understand the risk and reward profile of structured products, and if the products are not properly assessed against the risk appetite of retail investors, retail investors might be exposed to unexpected losses and this might lead to complaints, reputational risks for manufacturers and distributors, and a loss of confidence in the regulatory framework and, more broadly, in financial markets. 6. In 2013, ESMA mapped the measures adopted in the EU Member States in relation to complex products in order to identify issues and to better understand the rationale behind national initiatives (by looking at similarities and differences in the various approaches, and reviewing how complexity has been treated in the different EU Members States). 7. As a result, ESMA has developed a broad set of non-exhaustive examples of good practices, attached as Annex 1 hereto, illustrating arrangements that firms - taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of their business - could put in place to improve their ability to deliver on investor protection regarding, in particular, (i) the complexity of the SRPs they manufacture or distribute, (ii) the nature and range of the investment services and activities undertaken in the course of that business, and (iii) the type of investors they target. These good practices should also be a helpful tool for competent authorities in carrying out their supervisory action. Opinion 8. ESMA considers that sound product governance arrangements are fundamental for investor protec-tion purposes, and can reduce the need for product intervention actions by competent authorities. 9. ESMA considers that, when supervising firms manufacturing or distributing an SRP, competent authorities should promote, in their supervisory approaches, the examples of good practices for firms set out in Annex 1 hereto. 10. Although the good practices set out in Annex 1 hereto focus on structured products sold to retail investors, ESMA considers that they may also be a relevant reference for other types of financial in-struments (such as asset-backed securities, or contingent convertible bonds), as well as when financial instruments are being sold to professional clients. 11. The exposure to risk is an intrinsic feature of investment products. The good practices set out in Annex 1 refer to product governance arrangements and do not (and cannot) aim at removing investment risk from products.|
|27/03/2014||2014/334||ESMA issues good practices for structured retail product governance||MiFID - Investor Protection, Innovation and Products||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an opinion on structured retail products, setting out good practices for firms when manufacturing and distributing these products.|
|29/09/2014||2014/1191||ESMA Management Board Election Results||Corporate Information, Management Board, Board of Supervisors, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority has elected three new members to its Management Board to replace outgoing members whose term will expire in October this year. The election took place at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Rome on 25 September and the successful candidates, who will serve a term of 2½ years beginning on the 1 November 2014, are: • Cyril Roux, Central Bank of Ireland (CBI), Ireland – new member; • Gérard Rameix, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), France – ending first term and re-elected; and • Marek Szuszkiewicz, Komisja Nadzoru Finanswego (KNF), Poland – new member.|
|18/12/2014||2014/1378||Opinion- Investment-based crowdfunding||Innovation and Products||Opinion||PDF
|Crowdfunding is a means of raising finance for projects from ‘the crowd’ often by means of an internet-based platform through which project owners ‘pitch’ their idea to potential backers, who are typically not professional investors. It takes many forms, not all of which involve the potential for a financial return. ESMA’s focus is on crowdfunding which involves investment, as distinct from donation, non-monetary reward or loan agreement. Crowdfunding is relatively young and business models are evolving. EU financial services rules were not designed with the industry in mind. Within investment-based crowdfunding a range of different operational structures are used so it is not straightforward to map crowdfunding platforms’ activities to those regulated under EU legislation. Member States and NCAs have been working out how to treat crowdfunding, with some dealing with issues case-by-case, some seeking to clarify how crowdfunding fits into existing rules and others introducing specific requirements.To assist NCAs and market participants, and to promote regulatory and supervisory convergence, ESMA has assessed typical investment-based crowdfunding business models and how they could evolve, risks typically involved for project owners, investors and the platforms themselves and the likely components of an appropriate regulatory regime. ESMA then prepared a detailed analysis of how the typical business models map across to the existing EU legislation, set out in this document.|
|18/12/2014||2014/1568||Press Release- Investment-based crowdfunding needs EU-wide common approach||Innovation and Products, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published an Opinion along with an Advice on Investment-based crowdfunding. The Opinion clarifies the EU rules applicable to crowdfunding, while the Advice highlights issues for consideration by the EU institutions to achieve greater regulatory and supervisory convergence within the EU.The Opinion is addressed to the national competent authorities (NCA) and provides clarity on how crowdfunding business models fit within the existing EU regulatory framework. It outlines how existing EU rules are likely to apply to crowdfunding platforms, depending on the precise business model used. It also provides guidance to NCAs who may be considering how to regulate platforms operating outside the scope of the harmonised EU rules on the key risks inherent to crowdfunding and the key components of a regulatory regime to address them.The Advice, addressed to the EU institutions – Commission, Parliament and Council, highlights the concern that strong incentives currently exist for crowdfunding platforms to structure their business models to fall outside the scope of regulation and asks them to consider policy options to reduce these incentives. Avoiding regulation presents risks to investor protection and makes it harder for platforms to grow their businesses.Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA’s aim is to enable crowdfunding to reach its potential as a source of finance, while ensuring that risks to users of crowdfunding platforms are identified and addressed in a proportionate and convergent way across the EU. “We believe that there are benefits both for investors as well as for platforms by operating inside rather than outside the regulated space. Opinion to National Competent AuthoritiesConsidering the diverse business models used within investment-based crowdfunding and depending on the precise structures used different EU legislation may apply. The Opinion sets out an analysis of how the main business models map across existing EU rules, e.g., the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), the Prospectus Directive, the Directive for Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD) and other financial and banking regulations. In addition, the Opinion outlines what ESMA believes should be the key components of an appropriate regulatory regime for investment-based crowdfunding activities. ESMA’s Advice to the EU InstitutionsThe Advice to the EU institutions highlights gaps and issues in the current applicable regime where policymakers could consider taking action to ensure there is a regime protecting investors while also fit for purpose for crowdfunding platforms. These gaps and issues include: the impact of the Prospects Directive thresholds; capital requirements and the use of the MiFID optional exemption; and the potential development of a specific EU crowdfunding regime, in particular for those platforms that currently operate outside of the scope of MiFID The Opinion and Advice have been prepared in collaboration with and input from the European Banking Authority (EBA) on the regulation that falls within its scope of action, i.e. the Payment Services Directive, and constitute the first output of a co-ordinated programme of work with the next expected output being a publication by EBA on lending-based crowdfunding. In line with their respective remits, ESMA has focused on investment-based crowdfunding, while EBA has focused on lending-based crowdfunding.|
|16/02/2015||2015/281||Press Release- ESMA publishes annual report and supervisory focus for CRAs and TRs||Corporate Information, Credit Rating Agencies, Post Trading, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today an annual report (Report) on its direct supervisory activities in 2014 regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TR). The report summarises the key actions taken during 2014 and outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plans for both sectors for 2015.|
|21/05/2015||2015/876||Press Release- ESMA publishes response to Capital Markets Union Green Paper||Corporate Information, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|15/06/2015||2018/933||Press release- ESMA launches new strategy and publishes 2014 annual report||Corporate Information, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|26/06/2015||2015/1049||ESMA announces the appointment of new chairs to Standing Committees||Corporate Information, Board of Supervisors, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|18/12/2015||2015/1871||Proxy advisors take steps towards increased transparency||Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|28/01/2016||2016/167||Anneli Tuominen appointed Vice Chair of ESMA||Corporate Information, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
|11/02/2016||2016/284||ESMA publishes first supervisory convergence work programme||Corporate Information, Press Releases, Supervisory convergence||Press Release||PDF
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its first Supervisory Convergence Work Programme 2016 (SCWP), which details the activities and tasks it will carry out to promote sound, efficient and consistent supervision across the European Union.
The publication of the SCWP expands on the high-level objective outlined in the Annual Work Programme 2016 and fulfils a key commitment in ESMA’s Strategic Orientation 2016-2020 to outline how it would refocus its resources from single rulebook to supervisory convergence work.
|17/02/2016||2016/300||Warning- Unauthorised use of ESMA’s identity and logo||Corporate Information, Press Releases||Press Release||PDF
Unauthorised use of ESMA’s identity and logo
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has been informed that its identity and logo have been used in communications targeting company employees in order to request the transfer of company money.
In addition, ESMA has been informed that attempts were made to use the name of a senior member of ESMA staff also for the purpose of fraudulent scams targeting a savings bank and a listed issuer.
Please note that all references to ESMA or any ESMA employees in these communications, which do not originate from ESMA, are entirely false and have been made without ESMA’s knowledge or consent.
In order to protect yourself against these unauthorised communications, ESMA advises you:
Be aware that fraudsters might use ESMA’s name, logo or the name of an ESMA staff member, a bogus website which appears to be that of ESMA, and/or make bogus references to people said to work in ESMA. Be aware of the following when making your checks:
|02/06/2016||2016/743||ESMA assesses usefulness of distributed ledger technologies||Innovation and Products, Press Releases, Risk Analysis & Economics - Markets Infrastructure Investors||Press Release||PDF