Forum Home Page [see Broadridge note below]

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Fair Investor Access

See related case examples of

Dell Inc.

appraisal rights for intrinsic value realization

and

Walgreen Co.

stock buyback policies

"Fair Access" Home Page

"Fair Access" Program Reference

For graphs of specific company and related industry returns, see

Returns on Corporate Capital

For graphs of specific company voting for the past 5 years, see

Shareholder Support Rankings

 

 

 

 

 

Forum Report: Fair Investor Access

New Program Addressing Fair Investor Access to Decision-making Information

The Shareholder Forum will be starting a public interest program next month to address the fair use of new communication technologies for improved investor access to decision-making information. Our objective will be to define issues that both corporate managers and investors may consider in the development of new practices, applying the marketplace standards established by the Forum's 2010 "E-Meetings" program.

As observed in a wide range of commercial and social applications, the use of new communication tools can significantly expand access to information and exchanges of views. The benefits of this improved access to information should be especially significant to investment decision-makers, in relation to a particular investor’s interests as well as to broader interests in efficient capital allocation. Realization of these benefits will require responsible management of the new tools.

Since practical processes are now available to assure the legitimacy of participants in electronic communications,* it is important – both to investors and to the corporate managers who compete for their support – to develop common understandings of how these new tools can be used in ways that assure fair access to decision-making information. The marketplace standards you established in our 2010 program provide a sound foundation for this process. To continue, we need your suggestions of the specific questions that need to be asked.

 Examples of suggested questions include these:

§ Who should be allowed to observe, and who should be allowed to speak? (It’s assumed that this kind of question needs to be considered in relation to specific applications. The answers can be different even for generally similar processes of question submissions, for example, if one case is a company’s inviting suggestions of issues to be addressed at a quarterly conference call and the other is live questions during the actual call.)

§ When should anonymity be allowed, and when should a participant be required to use an actual name?

§ Should investors be able to determine who is allowed to participate in non-confidential communications with a company’s management, as in the “Fifth Analyst Call” experiments?

Please tell us what else you consider important to assure fair investor access.

GL –April 25, 2012

Gary Lutin
Chairman, The Shareholder Forum
575 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022
Tel: 212-605-0335
Email: gl@shareholderforum.com

 


* Responding to both corporate and investor interests identified during its 2010 “E-Meetings” public interest program, the Shareholder Forum partnered with the Securities Transfer Association (“STA”) to develop patent pending online processes that can be made available through any STA member for verifying the identity and stock ownership records of participants in electronic communications.

 

 

This Forum program is 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 Forum's purpose is 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 is 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 to address issues and objectives defined by participants in the 2010 "E-Meetings" program relevant to broad public interests in marketplace practices, rather than investor decisions relating to only a single company. The Forum may therefore invite program support of several companies that can provide both expertise and examples of leadership relating to the issues being addressed.

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.