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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


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Forum Report: Fair Investor Access

Project for Enhanced Earnings Calls

As part of the current program for establishing standards of fair investor access, the Forum is organizing a workshop to develop specifications of particular communication tools that corporate managers want to use for quarterly earnings calls.

Discussions with both corporate and investor Forum participants have encouraged the use of the widely used earnings call – a few thousand U.S. companies, in every size range and industry, conduct four of them every year – to provide practical examples of how investor communications can benefit from adaptations of the “relationship management” and “analytics” tools that most companies use to understand and respond to the interests of all their other key constituencies. Our starting point, of course, must be to ask the key participants how to make the most of these quarterly opportunities for information exchange:

Investors: What would help you get the information you want?

Corporate managers: What would help you understand the decision-making interests of your various investor audiences, and respond effectively to win their support?

This marketplace definition of communication objectives will provide a sound foundation for developing examples of processes that we can observe to define issues and standards of fairness.

These user objectives and examples will also be used to show solution providers what is needed to serve the market for investor communications. We want the vendors that currently provide great solutions for managing other business relationships to understand how to adapt their existing tools, including regulatory and marketplace requirements. This will reduce their costs and risks of developing commercially viable alternatives for your use.

To provide a general indication of what the workshop will be considering, these are some of the initial suggestions of processes that companies could use with earnings calls:

    Advance polling of investor interest in 3 or 4 subjects suggested by the company to select one for featured attention during the call, publicly presented several weeks before the call to allow analysis and preparation

    Solicitation of online question submissions, starting with the announcement of the earnings release date and until a few hours before the call to understand investor interests and refine preparations

    Provisions for online questions during the live call, to be addressed at management discretion either during the call or subsequently

    Live polling of responses to company representative’s requests of investor views during the conference call

    Provisions for continuous online submissions of questions and requests relating to quarterly calls

    Analytics for understanding and responding to individual and segment interests

Your comments on these or other processes will be welcomed. Please also let me know if you want to explore the establishment of additional workshops to develop specifications for similar enhancements of any other investor communication processes, such as analyst days or road shows.

GL – August 14, 2012

Gary Lutin
Chairman, The Shareholder Forum
575 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022
Tel: 212-605-0335


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.