|The World Federation of Investors is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose members are primarily national shareholders' associations. WFI was formed to promote investor education and shareholder advocacy. WFI helps national shareholders associations and investor advocacy groups better serve their members. more|
2018 WFI ANNUAL CONGRESS|
Paris, France — Details to follow
WFI Annual Congress will be in Paris and hosted by F2iC. Executive Committee Dinner Meeting 24 October. Annual Congress and Dinner 25 October. Cultural Day 26 October.
2017 WFI ANNUAL CONGRESS|
Stockholm, Sweden — 7-9 September, 2017
The Swedish Shareholders' Association (SARF) hosted WFI in Stockholm on 7-9 September, 2017. WFI held its Annual Congress, exchanging information, country reports, Executive Committee actions, etc. The CEO of the NASDAQ Stockholm Stock Exchange, Lauri Rosendahl, invited attendees to attend a session together with the members of the European Association for Share Promotion (EASP). The topic was "The Special Features of the Nordic/Swedish Equity Market". They hosted a dinner that evening.
The second day, 8 September, the Swedish Foundation for Share Promotion, Aktiefrämjandet and the Swedish Shareholders' Association hosted a full day seminar, followed by dinner. The theme of the seminar was "Investment Education for Life Time Financial Security". The goal of this seminar was to present the current level of investment education in a number of representative countries and discuss how investment education can be improved to reach more individuals.
On 9 September our hosts organized a social program.
WFI extends a warm "thank you " to Director Lars-Erik Forsgårdh for making this meeting possible and successful.
|NEW MEMBERS APPROVED IN STOCKHOLM|
At the WFI Annual Congress in Stockholm the following were approved as WFI members:
NEW SAVERS, ITALY:
Dr. Paolo Brambilla, President — Graduated in Economics at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. Certificate of Mastery Online – Ancient Greek hero – HarvardX. Journalist – Member of "Ordine dei Giornalisti" Member of the board "Sala Stampa Nazionale" National Press Room) – Milan. Editor "ActionNews Press Agency " (international corporate actions and bonds). Columnist "Affari Italiani" – Economy and Finance. Editor "Trendiest" (international site, start up). Partner "Consilium Impressa e Familiglia" – PR and communication. Past member of the board "Euroshareholders", Bruxelles.)
Avv. Iacopo Destri, Vice-President — Graduated with highest honors from the Università degli Studi di Pisa. Specializes in intellectual and industrial property, technology and information, unfair competition, advertising, Internet, e-commerce and entertainment law.
Dr. Chiara Zaraga, Internal Relations — Graduated in Communication and Didactics of Arts at Brera Academy in Milan. A journalist, she is involved in corporate action section and innovative finance in ActionNews Press Agency.
Dr. Michela Longari — Graduated in Economics at University of Pavia. She is Markets and External Division Officer, Bocconi University of Milan.
Patrick Haas, Equity Partner, AKD, Netherlands — Lawyer since 1998 and a partner since 2005. He is currently heading AKD's Dispute Resolution practice group. His work includes representing mostly corporate clients in litigation, including: disputes between all possible stakeholders of corporations; shareholder disputes; disputes relating to corporate transactions. He is also involved as lead counsel in multiple cross-border collective redress cases (i.e., Volkswagen scandal, Forex Manipulation scandal, Meinl European Land, Truck cartel, etc.).
Vincent J. Deruder, Luxembourg — A French and jurist by training with considerable experience in financial services. Vincent is a past member of the European Commission Expert Group on automatic exchange of financial account information (DAC 2 prior to that). He was a guest professor at the University of Nice, France, teaching European Law (Financial services regulation). He has served as Chairman of FECIF "Fédération Européenne des Conseils et Intermédiaries Financiers" – pan European trade body of the European financial services/insurance intermediaries and was recently made Honorary Chairman and appointed Chair of the Advisory Committee. A resident in Luxembourg since 1998, he is the Chairman of the Nucleus Group of companies, a privately owned Luxembourg-based insurance holdings group.
|VOLKSWAGEN CLAIM UPDATE|
From the Home Office
WFI Activity Advocates for Individual Investors
Subject: VW Emissions Case: $20 Billion in Claims and Counting
Article by Roger H. Ganser, Chairman, NAIC/BetterInvesting Board of Directors and Chairman, World Federation of Investors, and Dr. Henning Wegener, former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Spain and Honorary WFI Director. (Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the individual authors and not of any organization in which they serve or participate.)
Volkswagen's fraudulent default device scandal now totals over $20 billion in awarded claims in the U.S. car case, with additional claims being made by consumer environmental, national and local governments throughout Europe and the U.K. Concurrently, Volkswagen has steadfastly denied that it needed to warn VW investors earlier about the scandal and the resulting financial claims against the company and their financial impact on VW investors.
Last April Roger reported on the actions of the World Federation of Investors decision to become actively involved in the Volkswagen fraud case that has had a serious financial impact on individual investors around the world (see May 2017 issue). This became all the more important as individual investors in Europe had no recourse because class action was not allowed. Consequently, the WFI formally endorsed a program to enable investors in Volkswagen AG, Porsche AG and Audi AG securities to seek recovery for losses in the value of these securities resulting from the emissions fraud committed by Volkswagen.
WFI has been a proactive advocate by informing, educating and facilitating individual investor participation in the Stichting Volkswagen Investors Claim, a nonprofit foundation established in the Netherlands to represent the interests of victims in seeking a resolution of investor claims against VW. The foundation's objective is to obtain relief for investors who have suffered investment losses as a result of the Volkswagen emissions fraud by means of open negotiations instead of costly legal challenges.
Roger is serving on the Stichting's independent Board of Directors along with colleague Dr. Henning Wegener, former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Spain and Past Director General of the Spanish Association of Minority Shareholders of Listed Companies. Roger serves as Chairman of the Stichting Supervisory Board and Dr. Wegener serves as Chairman of the Stichting Management Board. Because of their close working relationship, Roger asked Dr. Wegener to be a co-author for this article. Dr. Wegener brings the political and cultural elements together when describing Volkswagen's behavior in the yes of world markets.
Continue to read the rest of the article
Archived VW Updates
|NOMINATING AND GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE|
The WFI Board of Directors approved the creation of the Nominating and Governance Committee to assist the Board and the Executive Committee of WFI, if requested, in discharging their responsibilities regarding: (1) the evaluation and identification of qualified individuals to become members of the Executive Committee or its subcommittees; (2) the developing and recommendation of corporate governance principles applicable to WFI and regarding the functioning of the Executive Committee as an entity; (3) the considerations of necessary and significant amendments to the Certificate of Incorporation by Bylaws of WFI; (4) the review of any proposed amendments to the Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws of WFI and the recommendation of appropriate action; (5) the oversight of the corporate governance affairs of the Board and the Executive Committee of WFI and their members ; and (6) the elaboration of the risks, conflicts of interest and responsibilities of the Board, the Committees of WFI and its members, including member transactions in other organizations in which a member is representing WFI.
|SECURITY AND LEGAL PROTECTION FOR INVESTMENT IN LATIN AMERICA|
Above L-R: Lars-Erik Forsgårdh, PhD, past WFI Chairman; Roger Ganser, WFI Chairman; Attorney José Francisco Estévez, Vice-President of Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Abogados
The "Report on Security and Legal Protection for Investment in Latin America" by the CREMADES & CALVO-SOTELO law firm provides an excellent summary of some of the challenges of permanently improving the regulatory institutions which offer legal security and protection of the investment. This Report efficiently profiles the major considerations and proposals regarding systems of protection of foreign investment in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rice, Mexico and Peru.
This Report was also sponsored by the World Federation of Investors (WFI), Better Finance, and Associación Española de Accionistas Minoritarios de Empresas Cotizadas (AEMEC). WFI shall continue to follow efforts to reinforce shareholder protections while also providing the needed financial resources to our friends in South America. Attorney José Francisco Estévez, Vice-President of Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Abogados, was a Director of Research for this Report. We thank him for his counsel and providing the very valuable insight presented by the Report.
|WHY THE DECLINE IN|
Like most of our members have experienced, shareholding among French households has declined since 2008, despite the improved performance of the stock market. Many theories have been put forward to explain this phenomenon, both by the media and by financial institutions. But are these explanations correct? Should we be satisfied with explaining this decline through the fear of losses, which would continue to give cause for concern in the minds of French people regarding financial crises?
Faced with explanations based simply on feelings or supposition, Luc Arrondel and André Masson decided to undertake academic research and carry out a long-term survey among French households. Their article allows us to grasp the differences, which may seem tenuous at first sight but are nonetheless crucial, between risk aversion and risk tolerance, changing preferences, trust in institutions, and expectations regarding performance. It also corrects some common misconceptions, such as the idea that household savings have shifted towards specific types of investment. The insights provided by the researchers prove that the ideas put forward to explain household behavior in relation to the stock market are often simplistic, if not erroneous.
A better understanding of the causes of and reasons for the loss of interest in shares offers us a chance to curb this phenomenon. Depriving businesses of this source of financing is in fact damaging to the economy as a whole. Here again, the study may surprise the reader, for it reveals the shortcomings of the most commonly proposed solutions for reorienting savings towards the markets. Take, for example, the widely held view within financial circles and public institutions that improving financial education would favor shareholding. Improved financial education would only be a palliative measure incapable, by itself, of changing the current situation. In order to alter it, we need to look for other solutions and canvass other initiatives. Rather than focusing solely on motivations characteristic of households, the financial sector would benefit from asking what its responsibility might be for the loss of interest in shares and risky investments.
The financial community is not, however, wholly responsible for this situation, and one of the conclusions of the study is that all actors should be involved, especially the public authorities, in remedying the lack of interest in share ownership on the part of individuals.
You can request the complete study in French/English by contacting Aldo Sicurani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|WFI MEMBER NOMINEES|
Canada: William Vukson
Switzerland: Mike Moran
Gabon: EIC Corporation, Jacquelin Yavo
The F2iC is a 49-year-old nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote long-term investing. It aims to give the French a taste for risk and entrepreneurship, influence the political debate and redirect it to promote long-term risk taking, enhance investors' protection and education in economic and financial matters, and help develop the presence of individual shareholders.
Aldo Sicurani, Managing Director, and WFI Treasurer
Active in Regulatory Affairs
Giedrius Steponkus, Lithuanian Investors Association, was appointed a member of the European Banking Authority's (EBA) Banking Stakeholders Group (BSG) to represent financial services users. His term started in April 2016 and will serve for a period of two-and-a-half years. He has joined working groups for "consumer protection", "recovery, resolution and systemic issues" and " payments, digital and Fintech".
Aldo Sicurani, WFI Treasurer
– since 2004 of the Commission Epargnants (Savers' Commission) of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (French Financial Markets Authority)
Roger H. Ganser, WFI Chairman
– from 2013 to 2016 member of Investor Advisory Committee of U.S. Security Exchange Commission
– since 2014 member of Investor Issues Advisory Committee of U.S. Financial Industry National Regulatory Authority
|WHY WFI BELIEVES IN STOCK OWNERSHIP|
Personal investing in equity as a way of forming wealth should be promoted, since it enables individual investors to participate in the growth of business and thereby in the progress of nations and the world economy. Access to their own investment capital in stocks increases individuals' freedom of action and improves their chances of weathering financial difficulties. Private share ownership thus enriches the individual in a number of ways.
WFI Gala Dinner in Milano, Italy
WFI member Frank Kaneko, Japan, and recording artist Cecile Prakken of Italy, perform at WFI's gala dinner in Milao, Italy.