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Related Projects 2012-2019

For graphed analyses of company and related industry returns, see

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Forum Report

Adapting to a Consolidation of Communication Services

            As those of you who have been actively involved in the “enhanced earnings call” project know, last week’s announcement of plans for NASDAQ OMX to buy the Thomson Reuters corporate services group[1] means that our biggest challenge just got bigger.

What we’d been looking for was a service provider that could assemble and integrate the components of an improved communication process in a convenient package that any company would be able to use. There are apparently good alternatives for the basic services such as IR website hosting and press releases that are needed to satisfy essential compliance requirements. It is also easy to find all the components that are needed to provide enhancements such as online Q&A, polling, identity management and analytics. We would assume under most conditions that the opportunity to put these pieces together would attract vigorous competition.

Now, however, we must assume that the two service providers most US companies currently rely upon for the assembly and integration of investor relations communication tools are likely to be preoccupied for the next several months. Under these circumstances we can also assume that other service providers may focus their immediate attention on exploiting opportunities to offer existing services rather than on developing new services.

This means that we may have to wait several months before any existing or new service providers want to develop game-changing communication tools that give companies the ability to manage investor relationships the same way they’ve learned to manage their relationships with customers, employees and other key constituencies.

While we’re waiting, Forum participants can expect the “golden goose” analysis of an activist proposal to provide useful insights regarding the practical processes of information exchanges to win the support of investors.[2] I will be reporting soon on the candidate selection process for that project.

GL – December 20, 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.

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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.

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