Facts about DSW

Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz e.V. (DSW) is Germany’s oldest and largest association for private investors. The head office is located in Düsseldorf. Additionally, DSW has 8 regional offices which are run by honorary representatives.

Founded in 1947, DSW now has more than 30,000 members. Furthermore, DSW is the umbrella organisation of 7,000 investment clubs in Germany (of which more than 700 are paying members of DSW) with approximately Euro 500 Mio. invested capital.


Watch and listen what Jella Benner-Heinacher, Managing Director of DSW, President of EuroFinuse, thinks about investor representation in Germany and on a cross-border level.


DSW offers the following services:

- Investment education programmes with Deutsche Börse

- Seminars on specific stocks and round-table discussions in co-operation with banks

- Services for shareholders concerning class actions in the US and Canada

- Service for the refund of foreign withholding tax on dividends

- Lectures for Investment Clubs

- Manual „How to install an Investment Club?“

- International Conferences e.g. on Corporate Governance


Offers to Members:

- We represent our members at approximately 650 annual general meetings per year.

- We analyse and appraise activities and performance of board members and oppose their proposals whenever necessary.

- We give free initial legal advice to our members outside the court especially in the field of banking and securities law.

- We assist investors in applying for refunding of foreign withholding tax on dividends.

- We support German shareholders in filing claims for class action law suits in the US and Canada.

- Whenever fundamental matters are concerned, we file law suits such as the Bond case where DSW managed to reimburse Euro 100 Mio. Since 1965, we have helped our members recover in excess of Euro in more than 45 legal cases on take-over bids. A large number of such lawsuits are still pending.

- Being the umbrella organisation of about 7,000 investment clubs in Germany we help founding these clubs and assist them continously.

Other Activites:

- Chancellor's expert committees, government commissions, courts and other officials ask for our advice on corporate governance, stocks, taxes, and corporate law.

- DSW representatives also sit on the boards of the Düsseldorf, Berlin, Munich, Hanover and Stuttgart stock exchanges.

- DSW is member of the take-over commission at the BaFin, the German Corporate Governance Commission, the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP), the Issuer Market Advisory Committee, BAFin’s Consumer Advisory Council and the stock exchange expert commission in Frankfurt.

- On European level, DSW is represented at the Financial Services User Group (FSUG) of the EU Commission as well as in working groups of ESMA and EFRAG.

- In order to offer foreign shareholders the possibility to vote at German annual general meetings we co-operate with well-known institutions in the US and Great Britain.

- DSW is member of the Expert Corporate Governance Service (ECGS), which provides corporate governance research and proxy voting advice on the leading 300 European stocks. ECGS is an alliance of leading corporate governance research and advisory groups in Europe.

- We regularly participate in international conferences on important issues like „Corporate Governance“ in Europe and the US.

- DSW is founding member of BetterFinance in Brussels, the European Federation of Financial Services Users, an independent financial expertise center to the direct benefit of financial services users, including individual and small shareholders, fund and retail investors, savers, pension fund participants, life insurance policy holders, borrowers, and other stakeholders who are independent from the financial industry.


Düsseldorf, December 2015