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In recent years, proxy advisors have become increasingly important players in capital markets. More and more institutional investors and asset managers make use of the services provided by ISS, Glass Lewis and co, as they are being pressured to vote shares in order to meet their fiduciary duties. Because of their rapidly growing influence, proxy advisors have been viewed critically ever since. Conflicts of interest, poor service quality and lack of transparency are just some points of criticism levelled against the industry. Art. 3(j) responds to these concerns by requiring proxy advisors to take on extensive disclosure obligations. Proxy advisors now have to publicly disclose a reference to the code of conduct which they apply and report on its application (art. 3(j)(1)). Additionally, they have to provide certain key information about how they conduct their business (art. 3(j)(2)) and inform clients about actual or potential conflicts of interest (art. 3(j)(3)).

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