Clearstream selects WM Gruppe to support SRD II obligations

Clearstream will use the WM-SRD-Hub for its central securities depositories (CSDs) in Germany and Luxembourg to comply with SRD II next month.

By Joe Parsons

Clearstream will use the technology platform operated by Frankfurt-based WM Gruppe to support its obligations under Europe’s incoming Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II).

Clearstream will use the WM-SRD-Hub for its central securities depositories (CSDs) in Germany and Luxembourg, and will enable it to draw on the strengths of WM Gruppe in the German-speaking markets.

Through the cooperation, Clearstream can receive and verify the legitimacy of requests from public companies listed on regulated exchanges, answer requests for shareholder identification and forwarding them to respective intermediaries, and then provide the aggregated response files to the receiving public companies and their service providers.

“With the WM-SRD-Hub, we are adding an important component to our range of investor communication services. With the new service, public companies will be able to obtain required information about their shareholders easily, quickly and transparently from day one of the regulation,” said Philippe Mueller, head of issuer CSD services, Clearstream.

Highly automated integrated interfaces as well as various input and output formats will also ensure a high degree of flexibility and straight-through processing.

“We are pleased that with Clearstream we have been able to convince a very important European central securities depository of the efficiency of the WM-SRD-Hub,” added Torsten Ulrich, managing director of WM Gruppe.

The partnership is the latest enhancement to Clearstream’s issuance services ahead of the SRDII regulation, set to come into force next month.

Earlier this year, Clearstream joined an industry consortium, which included BNY Mellon, Citi, Computershare, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan and State Street, in backing digital proxy voting platform Proxymity.

SRD II is widely regarded as the biggest change to European corporate governance standards and processes for many years. It aims to strengthen the position of shareholders and their engagement, along with reducing short-termism and excessive risk-taking by companies.  

It is also part of the European’s Commission’s overall agenda to improve standardisation and transparency in the corporate governance space.