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Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings

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Forum Report: Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings


Shareholder Rights to Present Questions, and to Observe

One of the issues identified by Forum participants in the E-Meetings program is the need to provide shareholders with a right to ask questions, which also involves an equally important need for all investors to be able to observe both what is asked and how management responds.

To illustrate the issue, the following recent news reports show how a range of notable shareholder confrontations have been addressed in "traditional" in-person meetings, some with webcasts allowing all investors to witness the exchanges:

These examples are of course exceptional, but the escalated level of attention of these cases is actually one of the conditions that we need to consider in deciding what must be accommodated by a broadly applicable standard of fair conduct.

In viewing the range of practices in these "traditional" meetings, it should be noted that all of them involve some elements of electronic communications in what has become a continuum of information exchanges leading up to an official voting deadline, as described in the Focus Report of last week's E-Meetings Review.  There really is no such thing today as a purely in-person meeting, and we must necessarily think in terms of combined elements of electronic and in-person communications as we consider the requirements of fair conduct.

GL – May 20, 2010


Gary Lutin

Chairman, The Shareholder Forum

c/o Lutin & Company

575 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor

New York, New York 10022

Tel: 212-605-0335





This Forum program is open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests in the development of standards for conducting shareholder meetings with electronic participation. 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.

The organization of this Forum program was encouraged by Walden Asset Management, and is proceeding with the invited leadership support of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. and Intel Corporation to address issues 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

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.