Muss die HV-Stimmrechtsausübung durch einen Checkpoint Charlie“?

Ein Bei­trag aus Groß­bri­tan­nien zur Ände­rung der EU-Aktio­närs­rech­te­richt­li­nie greift die Fokus­sie­rung auf Inter­me­diäre an, wenn es um die Aus­übung von Stimm­rech­ten geht. Ins­be­son­dere wer­den US-Ban­ken ange­gan­gen, die einen Kon­troll­punkt („Check­point Char­lie”) zwi­schen Aktio­när und Gesell­schaft bildeten: 

(…) The con­cept is very simple. We own shares in a com­pany, we know when the mee­ting is, we know what the issues are: we want to vote. But the sys­tem by which inves­tors vote their shares, in par­ti­cu­lar across bor­ders, is frau­ght with com­pli­ca­tion, lack of trans­pa­rency (obfus­ca­tion) and inef­fi­ci­ency (for owners and mana­gers at least). It is not fit for pur­pose, because it regu­larly disen­fran­chi­ses share­hol­ders. The com­pli­ca­tion lies in the chain of finan­cial inter­me­di­a­ries that exists bet­ween com­pa­nies and the bene­fi­cial owner of the shares (inclu­ding pen­sion fund mem­bers and retail inves­tors). Cus­to­dian banks, sub-cus­to­dian banks, secu­ri­ties depo­si­ta­ries and their appoin­ted voting agents all play a role (and take their cut). … 

One Ger­man example is with the annual votes on dischar­ging direc­tors from lia­bi­lity for the year under review. This reso­lu­tion is often pre­sen­ted as a bund­led reso­lu­tion – where a sin­gle vote is used to vote on all direc­tors at once. Howe­ver, should a share­hol­der wish to oppose the discharge of a spe­ci­fic direc­tor, this can only by done by being phy­si­cally repre­sen­ted at the mee­ting. Cus­to­di­ans and sub-cus­to­di­ans aren’t always wil­ling to faci­li­tate this, mea­ning that in effect you can’t arrange to have your rights exer­cised as you wish – and it’s far more expen­sive for for­eign share­hol­ders to do so. … 

So inves­tors, far from being free to make their own choices with which to be able to rec­tify the dif­fi­cul­ties they have with share voting, have to vote through the Check­point Char­lie” impo­sed on them by inter­me­di­a­ries with an ill-fit­ting Ame­ri­can model. Fur­ther­more, this impin­ges on their right to make their views heard at important cor­po­rate mee­tings across Europe every year. 

One final irony: At the spot where Check­point Char­lie was situa­ted, three streets come tog­e­ther. One of them, Mau­er­straße, means Wall Street”. Both in Ber­lin and in cross-bor­der share voting, Wall Street leads to Check­point Charlie”. 

See more at: http://​blog​.mani​fest​.co​.uk/​2015​/​01​/​6644​.​h​t​m​l​#​s​t​h​a​s​h​.​y​0​X​p​r​t​c​O​.​2​d​b​X​d​a​q​e​.​d​puf

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