Forum Home Page [see Broadridge note below]

 The Shareholder ForumTM`

Fair Investor Access

This public program was initiated in collaboration with The Conference Board Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies. The Forum is providing continuing reports of the issues that concern this program's participants, as summarized  in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

"Fair Access" Home Page

"Fair Access" Program Reference

 

Related Projects 2012-2019

For graphed analyses of company and related industry returns, see

Returns on Corporate Capital

See also analyses of

Shareholder Support Rankings

 

 

 

 

For the paper providing the historical background referenced in the commentary below, see

 

Source: IR Magazine, August 21, 2013 editorial commentary

IR Magazine

General Electric set up the first IR department in 1963 – making it 50 this year. But that made me think, IR itself must be far older. While the formal IR team is a relatively new concept, public company IR – the variety we focus on at this magazine – must have been around in one form or another since companies first issued stock.

That takes us back to 1602, when the Dutch East India Company, which is widely held to be the first public company, was established. It issued shares to fund its trading operations in Asia, creating a group of major and minor ‘participants’, as they were known. The high demand to trade share certificates led to the creation of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange six months later.

You might assume IR circa 1602 was very different from today’s variety, but there were a fair few similarities. Market rumors caused wild fluctuations in the company’s stock price, for example, and there was a need to keep an eye on disgruntled investors.

In 1605, a major participant and director, Isaäc Le Maire, was forced to resign and began a short-selling campaign, in the hope of driving down the share price, spooking investors and eventually forcing the company out of business. He may have failed in his ultimate aim, but Le Maire’s actions did result in the distribution of dividends for the first time, explains Matthijs De Jongh, a law clerk at the Supreme Court of The Netherlands, in a paper on the origins of shareholder advocacy.

Attempts to draw parallels between then and now only go so far, of course. Take the company’s first dividend payment: given a lack of liquid assets, it arrived in the form of mace. Still, there was clearly a need for market intelligence and a communications plan back in 1602, just as there is today. So let’s raise a toast to IR in its 411th year.

***

Tim Human
Editor
IR Magazine

 

This Forum program was open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of marketplace standards for expanded access to information for securities valuation and shareholder voting decisions. As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the purpose of this public Forum's program was to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant was expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

This Forum program was initiated in 2012 in collaboration with The Conference Board and with Thomson Reuters support of communication technologies to address issues and objectives defined by participants in the 2010 "E-Meetings" program relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices. The website is being maintained to provide continuing reports of the issues addressed in the program, as summarized in the January 5, 2015 Forum Report of Conclusions.

Inquiries about this Forum program and requests to be included in its distribution list may be addressed to access@shareholderforum.com.

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.