Australia’s beneficial ownership register ‘effectively useless’
Australia’s beneficial ownership register is “effectively useless” to ordinary shareholders.
That is the assessment of the principal of proxy adviser Ownership Matters, Dean Paatsch who told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics that while Australia certainly maintained a beneficial ownership register it was very expensive and very disorganised.
“It is almost unusable for the general public,” Paatsch said, noting that it was almost impossible for ordinary investors to determine who was standing behind shareholdings.
He said this compared to the situation in the United Kingdom where the beneficial ownership register was much more ordered and indexed.
Paatsch also argued before the Committee today that proxy advisers were much less influential than many people believed and that far more board directors had died in office than had been removed by a shareholder vote.