Our Corporate Governance Expert Group contributed to our response to ESMA's Call for Evidence – Impact of the Best Practice Principles (BPP) for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis.
We noted that, in general, we would be interested in helping governance research providers carry out their services more effectively as this is good for the whole market and for our members, small and mid-size quoted companies. Nevertheless, we pointed out that many of our members perceived challenges and scope for improvement in this regard.
We emphasised that it is very difficult to assess the impact which the BPP have had on the proxy advisory industry in practice, as it is difficult to assess and compare practice before and after since their adoption. While the BPP meet the policy principles set forth in ESMA’s Final Report, we noted that the principles could be improved by involving issuers and other stakeholder in the development process. We supported that there should continue to be better engagement between issuers and proxy advisors leading towards an open, healthy and transparent dialogue and a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.