The Shareholder Forum

supporting investor interests in long term enterprise value

 

Purpose & History of Services

The Shareholder Forum

The Shareholder Forum supports investor interests in corporate enterprise value with services that require independence – and that may benefit from the Forum’s network resources and recognition for advocacy of long term investor interests – to assure a definition of relevant issues and fair access to information that can be relied upon by both corporate and investor decision-makers.

The policies that provide a foundation for the Forum’s marketplace functions have been carefully developed and tested to allow any investor to participate in its communications, either anonymously or visibly, without acting in concert. Established originally to accommodate professional fund managers, this independent moderator function has proved to be consistently effective in managing orderly processes of issue definition for rational analysis by fiduciaries who are responsible for informed decisions.

Initiated in 1999 by 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 its members, and independently supported by Mr. Lutin since 2001, Forum programs have achieved wide recognition for their effective definition of important issues and 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.

Currently important applications of the Forum’s independent position include the support of corporate managers who wish to provide the leadership expected of them by responding to activist challenges with orderly reviews of issues relevant to long term investor interests.

Requests for Shareholder Forum consideration of support may be initiated confidentially by any investor or by the subject company, or by the professional advisors to either.

 

IR Magazine, March 3, 2010 article

 

IR Society webinar emphasizes getting the vote out

Mar 03, 2010

Experts proffer advice for issuers looking to secure votes at the annual meeting

Issuers were given advice in the lead-up to this year’s frenetic annual meeting period during an IR Society Webinar yesterday.

The webinar, ‘The proxy conundrum: keeping track of the votes in a digital age’, included contributions from John Botha of Broadridge, Peter Swabey of Equiniti and Cas Sydorowitz of Georgeson.

Difficulties with the proxy voting process were highlighted. ‘We often see a disconnect between the portfolio managers the issuers are speaking to and the proxy voting teams,’ Botha explained. ‘It’s very often the case that an issuer may have talked to the portfolio manager about an issue but communication doesn’t reach the back office, or proxy teams have their own way of doing things. There have been cases where solicitors have notified us when they think the vote has been cast differently from the way the fund manager intended.’

Sydorowitz expected more pressure from shareholders this proxy season. ‘Executive pay is no longer the sole target,’ he said. ‘Investors will also be looking at director elections, board structure and the independence of directors.’

Sydorowitz also warned that shareholders are using new ways to galvanize voters on certain issues. In December last year, for example, a large number of retail shareholders communicated via Facebook and Interactive Investor how they intended to vote on a proposed buyout of Dragon Oil.

Panelists further discussed the difficulties of improving retail participation. Because most retail shareholders sit behind private client brokers and transaction-only brokers, they don’t always receive notification of the upcoming meeting.

‘In terms of trying to increase the retail vote, in many ways apathy rules,’ Botha pointed out. ‘It depends how many shareholders the company has and whether companies have taken advantage of the new shareholder communications rules. If you just send a letter stating, The annual report is on the website and don’t enclose a proxy card, you reduce the likelihood of retail participation.’

By
Clare Harrison
 

 

 

 

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 has since been offering with the “Shareholder Forum” name, and we have asked Broadridge to use a different name that does not suggest our support or endorsement.