Successful implementation of SRD II in Norway: Euronext Securities continues to deliver on Growth for Impact 2024 strategic plan


On 1 July 2023, Euronext Securities implemented the Shareholder Rights Directive II (“SRD II”) in the Norwegian market.

Thanks to this implementation, critical processes such as shareholder identification, proxy voting and general meetings in Norway are now harmonised with the rest of Europe, making it easier for shareholders, especially international ones, to exercise their governance rights in Norwegian companies.

In 2021, Euronext launched its Growth for Impact 2024 strategy, where the Group committed to pan-Europeanise Euronext Securities and, in particular, to mutualise and harmonise our infrastructure to facilitate access to local market served by Euronext Securities, such as Norway.

With the SRD II implementation in Norway, we now, for the first time, operate a common platform across multiple Euronext CSDs, paving the way for further harmonisation to the benefit of issuers and investors.

Harmonising the customer experience across markets

Alexander Wathne, Product Manager at Euronext Securities Oslo, explains how the CSD was able to manage the complexity of the SRD II implementation. “One of the benefits of being part of a network of CSDs is that you can learn from each other and leverage expertise from our colleagues in other CSDs. In this case, since Euronext Securities Copenhagen had already implemented SRD II in September 2020, it made sense that we would work closely with them during the process,” he says. “Thus, where it made sense, we could implement a shared technical solution and processes that could support a more harmonised customer experience across our two CSDs.”

Specifically, both organisations now use the same proxy voting solution, which is built on the harmonised ISO 20022 format. “Clients who access our CSD services in Copenhagen and Oslo will now be met with the same user interface, the same messaging format and processing standards that STP processing makes possible,” Alexander Wathne explains. “This will create a more consistent customer experience across our markets in the Nordic region.”

Norwegian issuers can now gain greater shareholder insight

Implementing SRD II also means Norwegian issuers can access a wider range of Euronext services. For example, the shareholder identification aspect of SRD II can be combined with Shareholder Analysis, a service offered by Euronext Corporate Services, to give listed companies more insight into their shareholder base and investor behaviour.

Another benefit of SRD II is that the Norwegian process of transferring shares in the CSD register to obtain voting rights has been made obsolete. This process, where shares voted on seemed to be blocked, but were rather moved into another account, has for years been a challenge for cross-border ownership via Nominee account. With the launch of the new general meeting solutions this process is no longer necessary. In addition the enhanced communication flow via ISO 20022 messaging has provided more transparency in vote processing. For example, shareholders using proxy voting now receive a message confirming the execution of their meeting vote.

A successful first step towards a common Corporate Actions platform

Issuers working with Euronext Securities Oslo didn’t have to wait long to experience the newly harmonised process. The first general meeting under SRD II took place one week after the go-live date, and since then, the CSD has facilitated multiple general meetings where shareholders have votes with the new processes. Feedback has been positive.

When commenting on the successful implementation, Pierre Davoust, Head of CSDs at Euronext, said: “The SRD II implementation in Oslo, in particular on proxy voting, demonstrates the benefits of Euronext Securities’ strategy for European markets: by rolling-out the same service and the same platform across our CSDs, we make it easier for customers to access multiple local markets. We expect this implementation to materially enhance the ability of cross-border investors to exercise their governance rights in Norwegian companies – the same way we saw a clear increase of cross-border voting activity in Denmark this year where the number went up from 15,000 to 18,000.

Euronext Securities is already working with customers on the next steps of the harmonisation journey: in July 2023, we released our Corporate Events White Paper, outlining our vision for the future of corporate events (often referred to as corporate actions) across the local markets we support. In November 2023, we intend to release the new common corporate events service in Copenhagen and Porto, for fixed income securities. We also intend to go live on a new, common billing platform in these two markets at the same date.


Reach out to your local Euronext Securities contact if you have any questions about the implementation of SRD II and how Euronext Securities can support you.

Specifically, please do not hesitate to contact Alexander Wathne or Nicholas Schulz for information on the implementation of Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II) in the Norwegian market.