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For a copy of the full report announced in the press release below, see

Note: Frank G. Zarb, Jr., who assisted in the preparation of the SIFMA report, is a member of the Forum's Program Panel for Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings and is leading its special project workshop addressing the legal and administrative requirements of annual meetings.


Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), June 11, 2010 press release


Press Release

Release Date: June 11, 2010
Contact: Andrew DeSouza, (202) 962-7390,

SIFMA Supports Prudent and Balanced Enhancements to Current Shareholder Communications System

New York, NY, June 11, 2010—The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) today issued a report on the shareholder communications process supporting prudent and balanced enhancements to the current system for shareholder communications and proxy voting. The report stressed the importance of maintaining efficiency, reliability and credibility, along with important investor interests, such as the right to protect the privacy of personal information entrusted to a broker or bank.

The report comes ahead of a re-examination of the shareholder communications and proxy system by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is designed to provide context and other factual information to help inform that discussion.

In reviewing the current system, which is outlined in the report, SIFMA suggests the following recommendations:

  • Ensure investor privacy concerns are not compromised with any changes to the proxy system;
  • Ensure any changes to the proxy system do not create a fragmented process;
  • Ensure the proxy voting system remains reliable and efficient;
  • Ensure the proxy system process continues to be administered by neutral parties; and
  • Ensure accelerated development of electronic communications, which offer faster communications at lower cost.

SIFMA also notes in the report that any modifications to the current system should be undertaken with a view to preserving the efficiencies which are already present. SIFMA cautions against proposals to create multiple additional processes or to otherwise fragment or complicate the current system’s operations. Such proposals if implemented could undermine efficiency, reliability and data security, and create an unfavorable experience for retail and other investors, whose interests the system is intended to preserve.

For the full report, click the following link:


The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. SIFMA's mission is to support a strong financial industry, investor opportunity, capital formation, job creation and economic growth, while building trust and confidence in the financial markets. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit




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.

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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.