Europe needs foreign shareholder voting solution

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 21 Oct 2015

Counsel at a breakfast seminar hosted by TheCityUK in London last Friday lauded the Capital Markets Union (CMU) action plan, but lamented its failure to address cross-border shareholder voting.

Voting is a fundamental share ownership right, but as international investment grows the process is complex and often inefficient. Institutional investors simply cannot be present at the general meeting of every company they hold a stake in.

Many past and existing initiatives have attempted to address the issue. The Shareholder Rights Directive promotes a series of best practice standards, and both the Securities Law Directive and Market Standards for General Meetings were further intended to break down these obstacles.

Although the Shareholder Rights Directive prohibits such...