Finance Watch announces governance and Board changes

Brussels, 30 November 2014 – Finance Watch, the public interest advocacy association, announces the following governance changes after its General Assembly met in Brussels on 24 and 25 November 2014.


At the meeting, the General Assembly approved a set of changes to the Articles of Association that will change the composition of the Board of directors as well as the voting modalities for the General Assembly. This follows a governance review conducted by a sub-committee of Members over the summer, chaired by outgoing Board director, Wolfgang Köhler.

The changes have the following effects:

Board composition:

– the number of Finance Watch Members that can serve on the Board is reduced from nine to six, comprising four Member organisations and two individual Members (previously called “Qualified Members”),

– two external Board directors will be appointed to bring the total number of Board directors to eight. External directors will be full members of the Board but may not vote in meetings of the General Assembly as they are not Finance Watch Members,

– a Nominations Committee will be created to help with the procedures relating to the composition of the Board, as well as to ensure diversity within the Board,

– Board directors may be elected for two consecutive mandates of three years, and may stand for election again after a two year absence following the end of their second mandate.

General Assembly voting:

– the distribution of votes has been changed from one-member-one-vote to a system with two separate voting colleges, one for Member organisations and one for individual Members. Votes from the college of Member organisations will represent 60% of the final result, and votes from the college of individual Members will represent 40% of the final result.

– The college voting system will not apply to Board elections. Instead, each college will directly elect its own Board candidates, up to the number permitted for that college.

Other changes:

In addition to the Articles of Association changes, three Board directors stood down following the end of their mandates. They are Wolfgang Köhler, Friends of the Earth Europe (represented by Paul de Clerck), and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC, represented by Veronica  Nilsson).

There were no new board elections, as the number of Members that can serve on the board has now been reduced from nine to six (see above). Two new external directors will be recruited in due course to bring the Board to full strength.

Outgoing chair Monique Goyens (BEUC) handed over as chair to Kurt Eliasson, representing CECODHAS Housing Europe.

BEUC has changed its Board representative from Monique Goyens to Anne Fily. UNI-Europa has changed its board representative from Oliver Röethig to Hanna Sjölund.

Incoming chair Kurt Eliasson said:

“I am delighted that Finance Watch has concluded the upgrade of its governance arrangements. My thanks go to Monique for her leadership and to Wolfgang for overseeing the considerable work that has gone into today’s changes. The changes will help our organisation to be more representative and more responsive in executing our mission of making finance serve society, on behalf of citizens all over Europe. I look forward to continuing this work.”

The current Board of Directors consists of:

– CECODHAS Housing Europe, represented by Kurt Eliasson (Swedish), chairman of Housing Nordic (NBO) (chair)

– European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC), represented by Anne Fily (Belgian), BEUC Legal and Economic Director

– UNI Europa, represented by Hanna Sjölund (Swedish), UNI Europa policy officer

– Transparency International EU Office, represented by Jacques Terray (French), Vice-President of TI France and former member of TI International Board of Directors

– François-Marie Monnet (French), independent advisor to family wealth offices, associate of l’Observatoire de la Finance, former investment banker and journalist

– Prof. Dr. Rainer Lenz (German), professor of finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, former investment banker and Economic Advisor at the Namibian Ministry of Finance (treasurer)


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