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


Forum distribution:

Growing support of corporate focus on long term enterprise value


Source: The Wall Street Journal MoneyBeat, March 11, 2015 article



2:20 pm ET
Mar 11, 2015


BlackRock’s Fink, McKinsey Lead Group Fighting Wall Street Myopia


By David Benoit

Getty Images

A group of executives and investors sought the answer to the “scourge” of short-term thinking on Wall Street, Washington and across businesses in a New York conference room overlooking Central Park on Tuesday.

The group, calling itself Focusing Capital on the Long Term, batted around ideas on what concrete steps they and their powerful organizations can take to give executives breathing room to make the kinds of decisions that may drive growth down the road but might also draw flak from investors wondering about the here and now.

Among the steps discussed were changing compensation for both corporations and fund managers and about how to improve dialogue between both sides.

What exactly the group concluded in their closed-door meeting hasn’t yet been announced. It plans to release more specifics, but in interviews, the co-chairs portrayed the forum as a first step toward implementing goals that are still being ironed out. The co-chairs acknowledged they need to convince players that their solutions can actually help even.

“The most important concrete step was bringing greater awareness,” said Laurence Fink, the head of BlackRock Inc. and one of the co-chairs.

Among the topics Mr. Fink raised at the meeting, he said, was whether changes should be made to the definition of fiduciary duty – the requirement that investment managers are beholden to seek to grow their clients’ money above all else. Mr. Fink wanted discussion about whether the definition could expand to give leeway to fund managers to think about topics like job creation or the environment when making decisions. He said he didn’t know the answer.

Dominic Barton, a managing director at McKinsey & Co. and a fellow co-chair, said one CEO (names were carefully guarded) captivated the group’s imagination when he admitted his pay structure would actually allow him to make more in a few years than his whole career by eliminating research and development spending and instead buying back stock. The company wouldn’t exist after 10 years, the CEO added.

That fits with the group’s call to arms, a study conducted by McKinsey and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, or CPPIB, in late 2013. The study found 63% of executives felt short-term pressure was increasing. And, most memorably to the group, a majority wouldn’t be willing to make an investment to increase their profits by 10% over three years if it meant missing quarterly earnings. The group has labelled this the “scourge” of short-term thinking.

Mark Wiseman, the CEO of CPPIB and the third co-chair, said the forum’s intention was to bring together investors and executives who actually make decisions.

Among those there were Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical Co., Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group, Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T Inc., and Eric Cantor, the former congressman now at Moelis & Co.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew discussed his hopes to reform the tax code and support infrastructure spending in order to help businesses grow.

While the group aims at loftier goals, its message counteracts growing pressures from some investors like activists, who the group tends to frown upon. (Mr. Fink has publicly said activists are hurting the economy.)

Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Fink said activists are taking advantage of the void that’s been left by institutional investors, and that the group is looking to fix that by fostering more dialogue between boards and those who drive longer-term growth.

“To me, the fact a holder of 1% of the stock can have that amount of influence [means] shame on the other 99%,” Mr. Wiseman said of activists.

Mr. Lew was asked to address whether activism has gone too far, but delivered the kind of non-answer the group will need to overcome from its own members in order to actually create change.

“I don’t think you can dismiss either short-term or long-term,” Mr. Lew said. “If you are a steward of a company, your responsibility is for both.”


Copyright ©2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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

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.