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 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 Summary


Public Interest Program

Fair Investor Access


The Shareholder Forum is conducting this public interest program to establish consensus marketplace standards for improved investor access to decision-making information. Our objective is to define issues that both corporate managers and investors may consider in the development of new practices, applying the marketplace standards established by the Forum's recent “E-Meetings” program.[1]

The Forum program will be conducted with the following publicly open processes for establishing informed consensus support of key marketplace constituencies:

Review of demonstration projects – reports of plans, tests and demonstrations of processes for investor access to corporate sources of decision-making information

Proposals of standards for consideration – preliminary report of issues to be considered and proposed standards developed by members of the Program Panel, invited experts and other interested Forum participants

Open meeting – publicly open exchange of Forum participant views concerning proposed standards and issues to be considered

Report of consensus standards – final report of consensus standards established by Forum participants and a summary of any significant views not supported by apparent consensus, as approved by the Program Panel and with any comments submitted by its individual members

Two demonstration projects are planned, both addressing increasing academic and marketplace concerns with the requirements of fully informed investor decisions about proposals for immediate value realization in the context of long term investment objectives:

▪ an independent, peer-reviewed valuation report for the benefit of shareholders relating to the February 2012 management proposal to take Dell Inc. private[2]

▪ analysis of an activist proposal to sell, split or otherwise liquidate corporate assets as an alternative to long term investment in an enterprise, for a company to be selected[3]

Complementing this program's focus on the functional processes of corporate responses to investor information requirements, The Conference Board has initiated a "Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement" to address the "corporate governance" principles that concern many Forum participants. Two members of the Forum's Program Panel are actively involved in guiding the Task Force, and its plans provide opportunities for public comment prior to the presentation of policy recommendations in the second half of  2013.[4]

Participation in this Forum program is open, free of charge, to all marketplace decision-makers and the professionals who advise them, according to the Forum's standard Conditions of Participation.


July 20, 2012 (updated February 26, 2013)

Forum chairman:

Gary Lutin

Lutin & Company, 575 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022

Telephone: 212-605-0335



Program Panel:

Barbara Blackford, Senior Advisor to the Governance Center and Reporter of the Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement, The Conference Board

Heather Brilliant, Vice President, Global Equity & Credit Research, Morningstar, Inc.; Director and Immediate Past Chairman, CFA Society of Chicago; Board Member, CFA Institute

*Margaret M. Foran, Chief Governance Officer, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Prudential Financial, Inc.; Director, Occidental Petroleum Corporation; Member of the Business Council, American Bar Association; Trustee, SEC Historical Society; Member of Policy Review Board, The Shareholder Forum; Member of The Conference Board Task Force on Corporate/Investor Engagement

*James Kristie, Editor and Associate Publisher, Directors & Boards

Jeffrey D. Morgan, President and CEO, National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI); Member of the Individual Investor Advisory Committee, NYSE

*David A. Silverman, Managing Director, Blue Harbour Group; Chair, Corporate Governance Committee, New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA)

*Timothy Smith, Senior Vice President, Walden Asset Management, Boston Trust & Investment Management Company; Member of the Sustainability Advisory Board, Kimberly-Clark; Chair, Public Policy Committee of US SIF (f/k/a Social Investment Forum)

*Members of the Forum’s 2010 Program Panel for Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings (“E-Meetings”)


[1] See September 30, 2010 Forum Report: Standards for Fair Conduct of Shareholder Meetings Using Electronic Communications, and October 6, 2010 Forum Report: Survey of Investor Communication Priorities for Voting Decisions. It should be noted that the expanded use of currently available technologies to improve investor communications had been strongly encouraged by the 2010 program participants and was a significant objective of the current program, but that projects supporting the development of technology applications were suspended at the end of 2012 because of distractions associated with the consolidation of key service providers; see December 20, 2012 Forum Report: Adapting to a Consolidation of Communication Services.

[2] See February 22, 2013 Forum Report: Progressing with Dell Example of Responsibilities for Investor Information.

[3] See December 21, 2012 Forum Report: Candidates for an Activist “Golden Goose” Analysis.


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.