The signatories to the Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research & Analysis (the “BPP Group”) today (31-Jul-19) provided an update on the finalisation of the Independent Review process on the operation of the Principles, following the formal public launch of the new 2019 Principles on 22-Jul-19.

The second stage of the two-year Independent Review process was finalized by Dr. Daniëlle Melis MBA, Independent Review Chair BPPG who was appointed in October 2018. This resulted in a new formal governance and oversight structure for the BPPG to be implemented in the second half of 2019, updated Principles and Guidance, and an Independent Review Chair Report detailing the topics discussed in the Review Process and the rationale for the changes made to the original principles that date back to 2014.

The structured Independent Review Process referred to the ESMA 2015 Follow-Up Report on the Development of the Best Practice Principles for Providers of shareholder voting research and analysis (“2015 ESMA Follow-Up Report”), the requirements of the revised EU Shareholder Rights Directive II (“SRD II”) and the latest updated stewardship codes globally.  The Independent Review Process also referred to the important input of regulators, investors, issuers and other stakeholders received through a Public Consultation by the BPPG (completed in December 2017), 2017 and 2019 Stakeholder Advisory Panels and a June 2019 BPPG Stakeholder Preview Event.

Due to the completion of the Independent Review, its Independent Chair, Dr Daniëlle Melis will step down from her Independent Review Chair role with regard to the BPPG at the end of July.

Going forward the BPPG Committee will be in charge of the further implementation of the 2019 Principles. This includes the establishment of the BPP Oversight Committee to be implemented in the second half of 2019 and the ratification of new signatories until the BPP Oversight Committee has been established.

Commenting on her departure, Dr Melis said: “I am particularly proud of how the founding signatories to the Best Practice Principles, the current members of BPPG, worked together in the Review Process, on a voluntary and constructive basis. They respected investor and issuer concerns as well as differences in various service provider business models notwithstanding being competitors in their respective markets, in order to promote the integrity and efficiency of shareholder voting research services, which play an important role in investors exercising their stewardship rights and responsibilities effectively.”

The BPPG members said: “We are extremely grateful to our Independent Review Chair, Dr. Danielle A.M. Melis MBA for her stewardship, dedication and professionalism in developing the updated Principles, with her ability to prioritize the transparency of the Review process, alignment of interest and a focus on common ground.”

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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