The Shareholder ForumTM

Electronic Participation in Shareholder Meetings

Forum Home Page [see Broadridge note below]

"E-Meetings" Home Page

"E-Meetings" Program Reference


For a copy of the Forum letter to the SEC reported in the article below, and for links to the referenced Broadridge statements and other source material, see:

Note: Broadridge was one of the companies that provided invited leadership support of the Shareholder Forum's public interest program to develop standards for electronic communications relating to shareholder meetings.


Securities Technology Monitor, December 23, 2010 article


SEC Shouldn’t Mandate Social Media: The Shareholder Forum

December 23, 2010
Chris Kentouris

Should the Securities and Exchange Commission require U.S. corporations to use social media technology to communicate with their shareholders?

Broadridge Financial Solutions, the proxy distribution and technology giant, might think so but an organization claiming to educate corporations and institutional investors says it shouldn’t.

“The eleven year experience of The Shareholder Forum (the organization) supports many of Broadridge’s views about the benefits of such communication processes, but does not support their view of a need for new regulations,” writes Gary Lutin, chairman of the Shareholder Forum in a letter to the SEC dated Dec.17. “The current regulations should therefore be considered clearly satisfactory for purposes of allowing both corporate and investor participants to fully engage in the legitimate exchanges of information for which our Shareholder Forum programs – and forum-type communications conducted by anyone else – are intended.”

Lutin says the Shareholder Forum has been offering “forum-type” communications since 1999 when it was a project of the New York Society of Security Analysts. No longer affiliated with the NYSSA, the Shareholder Forum’s programs “provide fair access to the information needed for investor decisions about capital commitments and proxy voting, as well as for decisions about public policy,” he says.

Lutin’s letter is one of several dozen received by the U.S. regulator in response to its request for comments on reform of the proxy “plumbing.”

Broadridge officials were unavailable for immediate comment late Thursday afternoon.

In his letter to the SEC, Lutin cites an article appearing in Securities Technology Monitor on Dec. 8 which summarized a speech presented by Richard Daly, Broadridge’s chief executive at a conference held by Hofstra University’s Frank Zarb School of Business on December 1.

“Some believe we can wait and see,” said Daly in his speech which was distributed by Broadridge Financial. “They believe these developments, if they have merit, will take hold by themselves. But the truth is that changing the paradigm rapidly for all investors will require regulatory support.”

Citing statistics that retail voting declined from 20% four years ago to less than 5% in 2010, Daly also said, “Reduced participation in key governance issues is coming at a time when the need for two-way communication with shareholders is dramatically increasing.”

According to Daly, the technology underpinning social media can provide knowledge transfer, voting participation opportunities, and transparency between shareholders, boards, management, and regulators at levels that could prevent many of the financial mishaps over the past decade. “A true Investor social network could both prevent these mishaps and raise investor confidence,” he said in his speech.

In October 2008, Broadridge developed its own Investor Network after the SEC adopted new rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to ”facilitate the use of electronic shareholder forums by public companies and their shareholders. Broadridge defines its service as an “online community where investors and corporations come together to share information, ideas and perspectives.”


©2010 Securities Technology Monitor and SourceMedia, Inc.




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.

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.