EuropeanIssuers: The First Pan European Issuers Association Issuer-shareholder relation priority number one14.03.2008
A general assembly of leading listed companies and national associations, meeting in Brussels on 6 March, approved the creation of “EuropeanIssuers”, the first pan European organisation to promote the interests of issuing companies. EuropeanIssuers is the result of the decision, taken just weeks ago, by EALIC, the European Association of Listed Companies, and UNIQUE, the Union of Issuers Quoted in Europe, to join forces.
EuropeanIssuers represents the vast majority of publicly quoted companies in Europe. Its members are national associations and companies from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. These markets count some 9,200 listed companies with a combined market value of some 8,500 billion Euro.
The members of EuropeanIssuers come from various sectors including the automotive business, nutrition, energy, publishing, health care, luxury goods, construction, financial services and many more. What brings them together in EuropeanIssuers is that they are all owned by the public. Jacques Schraven, chairman of EuropeanIssuers, says: “The fact that these companies attract money from the market – as their securities are traded on stock exchanges and alternative markets across Europe ‐ makes them subject to an impressive set of complex and stringent rules and regulations. Through EuropeanIssuers listed companies can engage in direct discussions with the decision makers at European, trans‐Atlantic and global level.” Typical areas of interest include shareholder rights, corporate governance, clearing and settlement as well as financial reporting and auditing. EuropeanIssuers will benefit from the expertise and experience in these fields of EALIC founded in 2002 and UNIQUE founded in 2003.
EuropeanIssuers’ priority will be to promote more transparency in the shareholder base. Knowing their shareholders will enable issuers to have a sound and permanent dialogue with the person who has a genuine, economic interest in the affairs of the company, the end investor. EuropeanIssuers will also actively contribute to the set up of efficient EU wide voting processes, together with the institutions and other relevant stakeholders. The cross‐border aspect of today’s investments calls for adapted and harmonised procedures involving not only the issuer and the shareholder, but also the key actors of the securities industry i.e. custodians, investment banks, central securities depositories and stock exchanges.
In addition to Jacques Schraven, the Board of EuropeanIssuers will be presided by four vice chairmen: Jean‐Martin Folz, chairman of AFEP, Luca Garavoglia, chairman of Davide Campari Milano, John Pierce, CEO of Quoted Companies Alliance, and Rüdiger von Rosen, managing director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut. The permanent secretariat of EuropeanIssuers is run by Dorien Fransens, secretary general.
Brussels, 10 March 2008