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ACSA Industry Wrap - September 2020

Tuesday, 29 September 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Dent
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A warm welcome to Tata Consultancy Services who joined ACSA this month.  See TCS for more on our latest member.


On 23 September2020, ACSA hosted our first virtual member event by live webinar on Careers in the New Normal .  We had 66 attendees, and the post-event feedback was overwhelmingly positive.


A recap on the webinar, question responses and link to the session recording can be found here.


On 30 June 2020, ASX released Consultation on the CHESS Replacement Revised Implementation Timeline.  ACSA made a submission to this consultation, with particular focus on the need for certainty in functional scope (including genuine improvements), committed timeline and industry-wide risk perspective.


The ASX provided a media release on 5 August 2020 reporting that over 90% of CHESS users can meet the proposed go-live date of April 2022.


A formal response to the re-set consultation is expected in October.


Treasury has announced that following their previous consultation on the Exposure Draft of the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020, the Government is now seeking stakeholder views on the exposure drafts of the Exposure Draft Regulations. Details here.


The Exposure Draft Regulations include time limit of the call-in power, streamlining measures (including the increased range of exemption certificates and the passive investor measure) and integrity and technical amendments. 


Treasury proposes to amend Foreign Acquisitions and Takeover Regulations 2015 (FATR) by extending the exemption that applies to foreign custodian corporations in relation to notifiable national security actions.  


ACSA highlighted this point in our submission to the first consultation. As it is proposed to update the FATR so that foreign custodians will not be caught by the notifiable national security actions obligations, ACSA will not make a further submission but plans to confirm our support for the exemption. 


Vera Markovski, formerly with BNP, has stepped down as Working Group Chair.  Vera made a significant contribution to ACSA and this group over many years. 


The next Working Group meeting will confirm a new Chair. Current Deputy Duncan Lyon (J.P. Morgan) is nominating for the role, and Doug McMeekin (NAS) is nominating as Deputy. 


The Federal Government has announced an $800 million push to increase the adoption of digital technologies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes are aimed at modernising practices to allow companies to use emails to provide notice of AGMs, achieve a quorum with shareholders attending online, hold AGMs online and validly execute a document without company officers having to physically print and sign the same hard copy.


ACSA believes that reforms to the Corporations Act are essential to codify important lessons from the pandemic that ultimately improve the efficiency of engagement between companies and shareholders.


ACSA has identified specific areas for reform in proxy voting.  For example, codifying a true record date for voting entitlements removes uncertainty and supports transparency.  This has benefits for shareholders regardless of their size of holdings.  We look forward to working closely in the consultation process to safely implement positive change.


The twenty fifth Annual General Meeting of ACSA will be held on 22 October 2020 as a virtual event.  A formal notice of meeting has been issued to all member corporate representatives. 


For the history buffs, the association was established in 1994, but not incorporated (as a company limited by guarantee) until 9 February 1996. 

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