The European issuer community is working with the rest of the industry towards achieving greater efficiency and reduced costs in the area of corporate actions processing, according to Dorien Fransens, secretary general of EuropeanIssuers. Speaking to the delegation at CorpActions 2009 Europe, Fransens elaborated the progress that the two cross sector working groups, looking at the areas of corporate actions and general meetings, have achieved over the last 12 months.
Participants of these working groups include issuers, central securities depositories (CSDs), clearing counterparties (CCPs), intermediaries and stock exchanges. The focus of the working groups is on removing “discrimination” with regards to cross border shareholdings with a view to increasing standardisation and harmonisation across Europe, explained Fransens.
Although the best practices resulting from the work will be self-regulatory, Fransens indicated that the work is being carefully scrutinised by the European Commission.
The work around general meetings is focused on three key processes: meeting notices, entitlements and notification of attendance. Whereas the focus of the corporate actions working group is on distributions and reorganisations, mandatory and voluntary processes, options and transaction management, said Fransens.
“This work started several years ago and we are now in the final phase,” she explained. “The public consultation document on the general meetings proposals was released in December and industry participants have until mid-February to provide feedback. The corporate actions proposals have already been commented upon and the revisions are currently underway.”