The charter signatories to the Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research & Analysis (the “BPP Group”) today (21-Jun-18) provided an update on the progress of the Independent Review on the operation of the Principles.
The Review process included a public consultation at the end of 2017 to elicit market feedback on the extent to which the Principles are achieving their original objectives and to identify opportunities for improving understanding and transparency. An advisory panel, comprised of stakeholders from companies, asset owners, asset managers and other constituencies provided input to the preparation of the consultation under the guidance of an independent chairman, Chris Hodge. The full terms of reference for the Review are further detailed here.
The update to the Principles will address the transparency requirements for proxy advisors outlined in the EU DIRECTIVE 2017/828 of 17 May 2017 amending Directive 2007/36/EC as regards the encouragement of long-term shareholder engagement and due for implementation in Member States by June 2019. The updated Principles will also be capable of being applied in all markets where voting research is provided, and by all types of service providers.
Due to increased work commitments, Mr. Hodge has notified the Group that he is not able to continue with the review process and will be stepping down from the Chairman position at the end of June. The BPP Group is in the process of appointing a new Chairman. Once appointed, the Chairman will finalize the Review and steer the Group through the implementation stages of the Shareholder Rights Directive.
Commenting on his departure, Mr Hodge said: “This is an important Review; however, as the scope of the project has become larger than originally expected, I am not able to finish it in the original time allocated. The BPP Group has made significant progress with the Review and is well-prepared to take the Principles forward into the new Shareholder Rights Directive era.”
Commenting on Mr. Hodge’s contribution, the Committee said: “We would all like to extend our immense thanks to Chris for his wise counsel and insight during the consultation and analysis of the feedback. We are extremely grateful for his hard work and dedication to the Review. Our search for a new chairman is well advanced and we hope to be able to make an announcement in due course”
Note to Editors:
The Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research were launched in March 2014 following two public consultations. The Principles were developed at the suggestion of the European Securities & Markets Authority (ESMA) which suggested that the industry would benefit from increased understanding of how it operates. The Principles are global in their scope and can be used by any organisation providing research services to inform institutional investors’ stewardship and voting decisions.
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