An association of pension funds, insurers and asset managers have developed the Netherlands’ first stewardship code, emphasising the role shareholders can play in creating long-term value creation in Dutch-listed companies.
Eumedion, whose members manage more than €5trn of assets, said the principles of the stewardship code offer asset managers an opportunity to inform their beneficiaries and clients about how they have used their shareholder rights, and encourages a “constructive” dialogue with Dutch-listed companies and other stakeholders.
“It is not the asset owner’s nor the asset manager’s role to manage the companies in which it invests,” said Eumedion in the introduction to the code. “They do have, however, a role to play in monitoring the boards of those companies and that is why they need to gain understanding on how the boards fulfil their responsibility.”
The code follows and complements the revised Dutch corporate governance code, whose revisions last year also put value creation at their heart. Eumedion said it is also in line with the measures on transparency foreseen in the EU directive on shareholders rights, which the Dutch must have transposed into national law by June 2019.
All institutional investors holding shares in Dutch-listed companies will have to comply with the code and are expected to aim for meaningful implementation of its principles, according to Eumedion. They must also report on compliance with the Stewardship Code from the financial year 2019.
The new code enters into force on 1 January 2019.