Corporate Actions Reform News
Corporate Reform: Results and Further Plans
On 26 September 2017, National Settlement Depository (NSD) and the Independent Directors Association held a conference “Corporate Actions Reform: Results and Further Plans.”
The conference’s program consisted of two sessions: “First Results of Corporate Actions Reform in Russia” and “E-voting – Summing up the Results of Launching the Electronic Voting Service.” The conference included panel discussions.
National Settlement Depository was represented by Sergey Aristov, Director of Client Relations and the Network Management Department, who moderated the conference; Maria Krasnova, Deputy Chairwoman of the Executive Board; and Andrey Denisov, Head of Corporate Actions Development, who presented initial results of the launch of e-voting and acted as the moderator of the relevant panel discussion.
At the beginning of the conference, Maria Krasnova presented the results of a survey of securities market participants on corporate actions reform results, and set the tone and fostered discussion on “Participants’ Views on Reform. Opinions of Issuers, Registrars, and Depositories. Results of AGMs held in 2017.”
Delegates exchanged views and shared experiences about participating in corporate actions, and also set out development areas. Key areas included Corporate Information Center services rendered to non-public companies and transitioning to unified information exchange standards between registrars and depositories, as well as providing corporate information in English.
Andrei Yakushin, Head of Corporate Relations and Information Disclosure Division, Financial Market Access Department, Bank of Russia, stressed the reform’s importance and the regulator’s interest in positive changes focused on protecting investor rights, increasing information transparency, and fostering the efficiency of the Russian financial market.
The second conference session included a panel discussion aimed at e-voting. Andrey Denisov, Head of NSD’s Corporate Actions Development, in his report noted that Moscow Exchange and Sberbank, companies that have adopted the highest corporate governance standards, chose NSD as the supplier of e-voting services and for the first time used this process at their AGMs. And this was extremely important for NSD. Among evident reform achievements was the fact that more than 33% of votes at Sberbank’s AGM and more than 73% at Moscow Exchange’s AGM were submitted electronically.
Conference participants agreed that corporate actions reform has been successfully implemented. Over the year, it has been possible to assess the first positive impacts from these changes: reform has significantly reduced operational risks and facilitated access to corporate information.
Maria Krasnova, Deputy Chairwoman of the Executive Board, NSD, said: “We were happy to hear market participants’ opinions about corporate actions reform success. The process is still ongoing: new technologies are being improved and investors need some time to realize how these new opportunities can be best utilized. The results of the changes that took place may be more accurately assessed in a year or two. Meanwhile, NSD regularly reviews the corporate action processing technology, and thinks about how to make it more efficient and accessible. We discuss results with our Customer Committees; we set priorities and plan how to develop. This lets us identify the most topical issues and focus our activities. Given the scale of the impact of corporate actions reform, we think that elaborating on joint decisions and coordinating market participants’ actions are critically important.”