Date: 24th March 2021
Author: BETTER FINANCE

In September 2020, the Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II) came into effect, meaning that, in theory, shareholders should now receive notifications of the dates and other key information regarding the general meetings of companies they hold in their portfolio, regardless of where in the EU these companies are located. This is meant to ensure that shareholders can exercise their rights across borders, and attend and vote at annual general meetings in companies located in Member States other than their own.

Unfortunately, first experiences seem to indicate that this is not the case and that shareholders are either not properly informed about a general meeting abroad or encounter serious obstacles when trying to exercise their rights at a general meeting abroad.

With your help, BETTER FINANCE aims to look into this impediment to the exercise of shareholder rights across borders and find out how widespread reports of difficulties are, or whether SRD II has indeed brought real improvements to the exercise of shareholder rights.

To this end, we ask individual investors across Europe to document their experience and provide their feedback by answering a short questionnaire about their voting exercises since the launch of SRD II. To have meaningful results we will need as much feedback as possible from the various Member States, which will help BETTER FINANCE influence EU policymaking and improve SRD II accordingly.

If you are willing and able to participate, please complete this questionnaire separately for each company whose General Meeting you are trying to attend and vote at. As stated above, to get the best possible overview, we are interested in any cross-border exercise you are going through and encourage you to use the shares you already have in your (personal) portfolio.

Thank you very much for your help and feedback. The team at BETTER FINANCE is immensely grateful for your assistance!