July 2021


Pro Governance

Promoting Good Corporate Governance









Bondholder Protection


Merger Regulation


Private Equity

Shareholder Activism

Shareholder Voting

Wider Share Ownership






Wider Share Ownership


We believe that the wider spread of share ownership is in itself a public good and may sometimes even be preferable to higher economic efficiency.


Tax regime should be neutral
Politicians never stop tinkering with the tax code. Has this ever been designated a form of obsessive behaviour by t
he medical community?
A case in point are the latest proposals for the taxation of investment income and capital gains in Germany.
We do not want to go into technical details but suffice it to say that the proposals are the result of a non-participatory form of democracy that is prevalent in Western Europe.
So-called political elites and technocrats representing the lobbies with an interest in the matter have produced legislation that will be far from neutral in its effects on business and the way the citizen invests his money.
As matters stand, investment in pooled vehicles of various kinds will be at an advantage and investors that hold shares in individual companies and want to manage their portfolio will be penalised.
This is contrary to the interests of wider share ownership and shareholder democracy.



About Pro Governance

Our Mission is to campaign for the protection of investors and savers by promoting good corporate governance.

We also believe that the wider spread of share ownership is in itself a public good and may sometimes even be preferable to higher economic efficiency.

Shareholders in publicly listed companies are widely dispersed and cannot micro-manage the affairs of the companies they are invested in. The international nature of today's shareholder registers make this also impossible for large institutional investors.

On the other hand, abuses that have developed over the past few years make it imperative that company managements are supervised in a more efficient way.

Tax incentives and institutional constraints have favoured the growth of large institutional investors at the expense of small individual shareholders. This makes it more important than ever that these investors behave like fiduciaries and have the interests of their clients at heart.

This means that the business of money management cannot be treated like any other profit-maximising business. Like the medical, legal or academic professions the interest of the clients has to have priority when critical decisions have to be made with regard to companies the money managers are invested in.

We at Pro-Gov think that the establishment of an effective international forum combining representatives from the national organisations of individual shareholders and investors will be an effective step in the direction of improving corporate governance.

At the moment the corporate Governance discussion is limited to academics, journalists in the quality business press, institutional shareholders and companies and their business associations as well as politicians. The one party missing on the table are the real investors who - with some exceptions - voiceless in the debate.

"The scandal isn't what's illegal; it's what's legal"
(Michael Kinsley)






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