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The following archived June 4, 2012 webinar presented sponsor and author summaries of the the study reported below.



Forum Report: Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings


Study of Proxy Voting Decision Processes at 19 Mutual Funds

The following report of proxy voting decision-making practices at large U.S. mutual funds, prepared by the Tapestry Network and commissioned by the IRRC Institute (a not-for-profit organization funded by Institutional Shareholder Services), was released this morning and can be downloaded from this link:

The report was based on interviews with the proxy voting managers of 19 leading fund companies (identified on pages 30-31) as well as a review of literature. Most of the report addresses the current and anticipated future use of proxy advisor services, but its final section addresses related trends in direct investor access to corporate managers with the following conclusions (pages 26-27):

Participants believe the push for increased investor-issuer engagement will continue, but disagree over its impact on the proxy advisory industry




While it is difficult to predict the direction in which the proxy advisory industry will evolve, research participants are encouraged by what they see as an increasingly open dialogue: “As companies talk with investors more frequently, and with the proxy firms too, there’ll be fewer and fewer surprises. Nobody loses with better communication.” Our conversations with asset managers and other stakeholders lead us to conclude that not only is investors’ communication with issuers and other external players important, so too are their internal communication patterns, and especially their patterns of deliberation on specific voting matters.

It should be noted that the results of this research were reported (page 23) to be consistent with the investor information preferences reported in the Shareholder Forum's 2010 "Survey of Investor Communication Priorities for Voting Decisions."

Your comments and questions will of course be welcomed.

             GL – June 4, 2012


Gary Lutin

Chairman, The Shareholder Forum

575 Madison Avenue, 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.