The Shareholder Forum

supporting investor access

for the informed use of capital to produce goods and services

 

The Shareholder Forum

Purpose

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.

Access Policies

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 communication rights.

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.

History

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 banker 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.

Commitment

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.

 

The presentation of an institutional investor's voting positions on the Broadridge proxy administration web site, reported below, is a major step in the development of a clearinghouse for shareholder voting recommendations.  An idea that was initiated by the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) before its sale to ISS (now part of RiskMetrics), the open exchange project was revived with Shareholder Forum support by Glass Lewis and Broadridge in their 2006 venture to provide fully integrated proxy voting research and recommendations on the widely used ProxyEdge administrative platform, and expanded by the 2007 addition of UK-based PIRC research.

For other reports relating to evolving processes for investor access to decision-making information, see

 

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., May 27, 2009 press release

 

PR Newswire
 
Press Release

Source: Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. .

CalSTRS Turns to Broadridge for Electronic Voting Proxy Services

On Wednesday May 27, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

LAKE SUCCESS, NY--(MARKET WIRE)--May 27, 2009 -- Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR) today announced that the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) -- the nation's second-largest public pension fund and an advocate for good corporate governance -- has become the first institutional investor to pre-disclose their voting decisions through Broadridge's ProxyEdge® integrated vote recommendation service. This will now allow other institutional investors with voting policies similar to CalSTRS to compare and align their votes with them.

ProxyEdge is Broadridge's suite of electronic voting services that help simplify the management of institutional proxies by providing access to third-party recommendations and/or pre-disclosure of third-party vote decisions. ProxyEdge allows institutions to manage, track, reconcile and report proxy voting through electronic delivery of ballots, online voting, and integrated reporting and record keeping to help institutions satisfy their SEC requirements.

CalSTRS' assets under management totaled $111.6 billion, as of March 31, 2009. As long-term owners and lenders to corporations around the world, CalSTRS' responsibility is to protect those assets through the pursuit of good governance and operational accountability.

Broadridge offers a full-range of comprehensive e-solutions that enhance institutional investor communication. "Our partnership with CalSTRS is an example of Broadridge's goal to provide more market participants with the ability to meet their voting objectives thoughtfully and efficiently," said MaryEllen Andersen, Vice President, Issuer & Institutional Relations, Broadridge. Ms. Anderson added, "By pre-disclosing votes via ProxyEdge, institutional investors which have voting policies similar to CalSTRS are able to weigh their proxy decisions against those of CalSTRS, enabling greater voting consistency among like-minded investors."

About Broadridge

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., with over $2.2 billion in revenues in fiscal year 2008 and more than 40 years of experience, is a leading global provider of technology-based outsourcing solutions to the financial services industry. Our systems and services include investor communication, securities processing, and clearing and outsourcing solutions. We offer advanced, integrated systems and services that are dependable, scalable and cost-efficient. Our systems help reduce the need for clients to make significant capital investments in operations infrastructure, thereby allowing them to increase their focus on core business activities. For more information about Broadridge, please visit www.broadridge.com.

About CalSTRS

The California State Teachers' Retirement System administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California's 833,000 public school educators and their families from the state's 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts. CalSTRS has developed robust policies and standards for fair and open governance of corporations. As long-term owners and lenders to corporations around the world, the Fund's duty is to protect those assets through the pursuit of good governance and operational accountability. The investment portfolio is broadly diversified into six asset categories. For more information, www.calstrs.com.

Contact:

     Media Contact:
     Jennifer Connelly
     JCPR, Inc.
     (973) 732-3521
     Email Contact
      
     Broadridge Media Contact:
     Arlene Driscoll
     Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
     212-981-1347
     Email Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inquiries, requests to be included in email distribution lists, and suggestions of new Forum subjects may be addressed to inquiry@shareholderforum.com.

Publicly open programs of the Shareholder Forum are conducted for free participation of all shareholders of a subject company and any fiduciaries or professionals concerned with their decisions, according to the Forum’s stated "Conditions of Participation." In all cases, each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, and participation is considered private unless the party specifically authorizes identification.

The information provided to Forum participants is intended for their private reference, and permission has not been granted for the republishing of any copyrighted material. The material presented on this web site is the responsibility of Gary Lutin, as chairman of the Shareholder Forum.

Shareholder Forum™ is a trademark owned by The Shareholder Forum, Inc., for the programs conducted since 1999 to support investor access to decision-making information. It should be noted that we have no responsibility for the services that Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., introduced for review in the Forum's 2010 "E-Meetings" program and had been offering for several years with the “Shareholder Forum” name, and we have asked Broadridge to use a different name that does not suggest our support or endorsement.