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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

Winning Investor Support of Long-Term Corporate Success

The CFA Institute, the global association of over 100,000 investment professionals and 135 affiliated professional societies that supports standards for Chartered Financial Analysts, has published a report that continues its attention to “short-termism in the public markets” with recommendations to guide a corporate director’s responsibilities “as a proper long-term steward of shareowner assets, a true representative of shareholder interests.” (See the report’s Executive Summary; page numbers 1-2, PDF 7-8.) The full report can be downloaded from this link:

Investor communication is an important element of the “Working Group” panel* recommendations, with sections devoted specifically to “Quarterly Earnings Practices” (page numbers 5-9, PDF 11-15) and “Shareowner Communications” (page numbers 10-16, PDF 16-22). The following excerpt from the Quarterly Earnings section (page number 9, PDF 15) is an example of the panel’s view of director responsibility for communications to win investor support of long-term management:

In today’s markets, much of the investment management industry is impatient capital, and after a decade of stagnation in investor returns, some companies are not in a favorable position to tell investors to “be patient.” Because of this situation, we asked the following question: At what point do investors rightfully become impatient, and how do you manage in the era of impatient capital?

Part of the answer to this question is better communication with shareowners. One participant suggested that Visionary Boards need to make sure that a company is looking at its shareowner list, communicating with those investors for a reality check, and doing so on an ongoing basis. This panelist stressed that this communication needs to be “a real relationship and not one that only gets revisited in troubled times.”

Building relationships with short-term investors is seldom a productive goal. However, communication with all investors is appropriate. Focusing on relationships with the shareowners that have made a long-term investment and can provide meaningful input on the long-term strategy of the company is most effective.

Much of this communication will take place at the executive or investor relations level. A Visionary Board, however, needs to ensure that such communication is taking place and to participate in such communication when appropriate and when it can add value.

Your comments on the report will be welcomed, now or as we consider many of the same issues during the progress of our program for establishing standards of Fair Investor Access.

GL – July 18, 2012

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

 


* Note that the CFA Institute's "Working Group" panel members (report PDF page 43) Margaret M. Foran, James Kristie and Jeffrey D. Morgan are also members of the Program Panel guiding the Shareholder Forum's current attention to "Fair Investor Access."

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.