The Shareholder Forum™
The Shareholder Forum provides all decision-makers – from the
ultimate owners of capital to the corporate managers who use their
capital, and all of the professionals in between – with reliably
effective access to the information and views participants consider
relevant to their respective responsibilities for the common objective
of using capital to produce goods and services.
To provide the required investor access without regulatory constraints,
the Forum developed policies and practices allowing it to function as an
SEC-defined independent moderator. We also adopted well-established
publishing standards to assure essential participant privacy and
These carefully defined and thoroughly tested
Forum policies are the foundation of our unique marketplace resource
for clearly fair access to information and exchanges of views.
We have been doing this for more than two decades. The Forum programs
were initiated in 1999 by the CFA
Society New York (at the time known as the New York Society of
Security Analysts) with lead investor and former corporate investment
Gary Lutin as guest chairman to address the professional interests
of the Society’s members.
Independently supported by Mr. Lutin since 2001, the Forum’s public
programs – often in collaboration with the CFA Society as well as with
other educational institutions such as the Columbia Schools of Business
and Journalism, the Yale School of Management and The Conference Board –
have achieved wide recognition for their effective definition of both
company-specific and marketplace issues, followed by an orderly exchange
of the information and views needed to resolve them.
The Forum's ability to convene all key decision-making constituencies
and influence leaders has been applied to subjects ranging from
corporate control contests
to the establishment of consensus marketplace
standards for fair disclosure,
and has been relied upon by virtually every major U.S. fund manager and
the many other investors who have participated in programs that
addressed their interests.
The Forum welcomes suggestions for its continuing support of fair access
to the information needed by both shareholders and corporate managers.
Responding to the recent increases in investor engagement and activism,
we have established a strong policy commitment to supporting corporate
managers who wish to provide the leadership expected of them by assuring
orderly reviews of issues. We will of course also continue to welcome
the initiation of company-specific programs by shareholders concerned
with the use of their capital to produce goods and services, and we
naturally remain committed to addressing general marketplace interests
in collaboration with educational institutions and publishers.
Investor Relations Magazine, August 21, 2008 article
CEO sees project as ‘unique’ rival
to investor chat rooms
NEW YORK -- Broadridge Financial Solutions, the technology outsourcing
company, plans to launch an electronic shareholder forum that
distinguishes itself from other online investment forums by validating
participants as genuine shareholders.
The company revealed the project – which it is calling Investor Network
– in an earnings call last week. ‘We are uniquely positioned to create a
vibrant social network that validates real shareholders while allowing
both anonymity and accountability for any statements made online,’ said
Broadridge CEO Richard Daly on the call.
Broadridge’s proposal carries weight because the company has a virtual
monopoly over the retail shareholder communications market in the US, a
result of its extensive links with brokerage firms.
In the call, Daly said the SEC might decide shareholders have the right
to discuss their investments online in a secure environment. ‘If that was
the case, I can’t see it getting done in any way other than through the
plumbing we have in place,’ he commented. Daly confirmed he has had
meetings with SEC staff and chairman Christopher Cox on the topic.
Daly added, however, that Investor Network is still ‘early in its
development’ and experts working with Broadridge differ on the project’s
The SEC has been encouraging companies to set up e-shareholder forums
on their own websites for some time. In February, it changed its rules on
web disclosure to remove some of the liability issues that held firms back
from communicating with shareholders online.
‘E-shareholder forums are soon going to become a common communications
medium for shareholders and companies,’ predicts Michael O’Brien, vice
president of sales at iMiners, a technology company that sets up e-forums
on company websites.
‘The trend of companies using electronic shareholder forums to
communicate with shareholders via web 2.0 technology will continue to
accelerate, and we believe forums will become standard on company IR
websites in the near future.’
By Tim Human
© copyright 2008 Cross Border Ltd
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. F4Q08 (Qtr End 06/30/08) Earnings Call
Marvin Sims – VP, IR
Rich Daly – CEO
Dan Sheldon – VP and CFO
I believe one of the new and exciting opportunities is
around what we're calling the Investor Network. It's really unusual for us
to be talking about something so early in its development, but the range of
this opportunity could be anything from negligible to a unique and
meaningful financial social network which could be really big. The Investor
Network is an online electronic form that will facilitate shareholder to
shareholder communications with a unique feature that will differentiate it
from the chat rooms in existence today. Investors who use our Investor
Network will be validated as real shareholders. This feature will not only
enhance shareholder to shareholder communications, but it will provide a new
channel of communication between shareholders and companies.
When the SEC expressed a desire to enable better communications between
shareholders using today's online technology, Broadridge stepped up to help
provide a workable solution by leveraging our unique capabilities. The
Investor Network will validate shareholders through the core plumbing [ph]
of the Investor Communications segment while allowing institutional, retail
and professional investors to remain anonymous. We are uniquely positioned
to create a vibrant social network that validates real shareholders while
allowing both anonymity and accountability for any statements made online.
Through providing industry-wide technology-based solutions for Notice &
Access, summary prospectus and the new Investor Networks, we continue to
demonstrate that we are in the communications solution business and it's so
much more than merely an ink on paper or physical distribution business.
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