Why Schneider Electric chose EQS Group after comparing 4 management solutions for insider lists
When Delphine Gieux took up her job as Secretary to the Board of Directors at the listed electronics group Schneider Electric in summer 2016, her first task was clear: selecting and implementing a management solution for insider lists. Around this time the European Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) came into force so this task was vital. Schneider Electric is active in energy distribution and industrial automation. The company, with headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris, employs approximately 140,000 people in around 150 countries.
The following report details progress on project implementation and challenges.
Insider list management at Schneider Electric before MAR
Prior to MAR, Schneider Electric maintained insider lists using Excel. However, Excel does not allow companies to manage a history of consecutive lists or send emails. In order to meet the requirements of the strict MAR, it would be necessary to log the Excel files for every change, i.e. almost daily, as from now on they need to be created within 24 hours.
Delphine Gieux and her team used internet research to gain an overview of the solutions available. In workshops for issuers on the implementation of MAR, which are regularly organized by institutions such as AFEP (French Association of Private Companies) and ANSA (National Association of Public Limited Companies), they exchanged views with colleagues on practices and service providers. At these workshops the name EQS Group came up time and again.
Selection criteria for the new management solution
The company compared a total of four providers and their solutions. Schneider Electric defined the following selection criteria:
- Conformity with MAR
- Support/assistance from the service provider
- Data security (The data processing center should be located in Europe)
Efficient project team
Leading the project for Schneider Electric was Delphine Gieux’s department, the Secretariat of the Board of Directors which is responsible for stock exchange law. She worked closely with the Data Protection Officer and, of course, the IT teams. The team received support from the heads of department in communicating on the platform. They helped to set up the lists and to communicate the new notification methods to their teams.
5 questions for Delphine Gieux
The EQS Insider Manager met our selection criteria during the in-depth search. During our first demo, we saw that the platform was very user-friendly. Moreover, the tool was much more cost-effective than other solutions. This was because the Insider Manager was already adapted to MAR. Other tools were based on previous/foreign regulations and required changes, which we would have had to finance.
In the last phase of the setup some adjustments were necessary. We found out our firewall was incompatible which prevented notifications from EQS Insider Manager from being delivered to recipients. There was no back-up and the system was the only notification tool. We need to find a solution and it was a public holiday in Germany. The EQS team came to the office to work with our IT specialists, who are based around the world, to solve the problem – in real time, despite time zone differences. This shows once again EQS Group’s commitment and flexibility in this project. The roll-out then went smoothly.
For the HR department, we would have liked to synchronize the data according to the “function” criterion. The definition of systematically relevant functions, with automatic updating of the name, seemed relevant to us and was part of the specifications. However, this was not possible for data protection reasons, as the HR platform had to be isolated from the rest.
So far we have mainly used the platform to send notifications of upcoming blackout periods. These notifications are aimed at 600 to 700 people who have access to accounting and financial information before it is made public.
The benefits over Excel are enormous. The solution is faster, easier and more reliable. We know for sure that the people have received the notifications. Sending emails via a platform is not only more efficient, but also brings us closer to meeting Schneider Electric Group’s goal of digitizing our processes!