Members’ meeting is critical, yet constructive
The General Members Meeting, which took place in Hoofddorp on Monday 30th of October, has approved the annual report and discharged the management and the Board from liability. However, the meeting was critical of the Boards’ and management’s communication and has demanded improvement and increased transparency in the future. There was a strong support for the supplementary investigation by the supervisory body (CvTA). A vote of no-confidence in Wim van Limpt was rejected by a large majority.
Wim van Limpt, during his speech at the members’ meeting: “During the conversation with CvTA about the scope of the additional investigation, the reporting on my expenses was obviously discussed as well. I suggested, in this conversation, that my expenses could be included in the investigation. And for the outcome to be fully disclosed to the public. Meanwhile, the CvTA has informed us they will comply with this request. People who know me and have been working with me for years, know openness, clarity and transparency are important fundamental values to me. In our organisation, supervision and transparency will have to be defined more clearly and given more substance.”
To once again stress the importance of transparency and improved communication, the members’ meeting accepted a motion in which the disapproval of the Board’s and management’s communication policy is expressed. The members’ meeting urges the Board and the management to, among others, refute publicly and in detail, the very damaging accusations made in the Volkskrant and which have been copied by other media; publicly disclosing all the findings and recommendations of the investigations of NautaDutilh and BDO and pro-actively sharing the results of future investigations with members and affiliates.
A motion submitted to suspend CEO Van Limpt – because of the negative perception – was rejected by a large majority. Van Limpt: “I am encouraged by the outcome of this motion to continue with the changes and improvements already under way.”
New board structure
Besides the external investigations and the annual report, a new management structure for Buma/Stemra was addressed as an important means to improve supervision and transparency. This means the current Board will be replaced by a Supervisory Board-model where, alongside the necessary knowledge of the market, there will be room for independent supervision.
The annual report for 2016, approved by the General Members Meeting, showed over 183 million euro was distributed to rightholders. The implemented changes resulted not only in a rise in collected fees and distribution, but also in a positive financial position for the first time since 2013. Meanwhile in 2017, the first financial results of the restructure have also become evident. Over half a million euros have been saved in personnel costs.