The Shareholder Forum

supporting investor interests in long term enterprise value

 

Purpose & History of Services

The Shareholder Forum

The Shareholder Forum supports investor interests in corporate enterprise value with services that require independence – and that may benefit from the Forum’s network resources and recognition for advocacy of long term investor interests – to assure a definition of relevant issues and fair access to information that can be relied upon by both corporate and investor decision-makers.

The policies that provide a foundation for the Forum’s marketplace functions have been carefully developed and tested to allow any investor to participate in its communications, either anonymously or visibly, without acting in concert. Established originally to accommodate professional fund managers, this independent moderator function has proved to be consistently effective in managing orderly processes of issue definition for rational analysis by fiduciaries who are responsible for informed decisions.

Initiated in 1999 by the New York Society of Security Analysts with lead investor and former corporate investment banker Gary Lutin as guest chairman to address the professional interests of its members, and independently supported by Mr. Lutin since 2001, Forum programs have achieved wide recognition for their effective definition of important issues and orderly exchange of the information and views needed to resolve them. The Forum's ability to convene all key decision-making constituencies and influence leaders has been applied to subjects ranging from corporate control contests to the establishment of consensus marketplace standards for fair disclosure, and has been relied upon by virtually every major U.S. fund manager and the many other investors who have participated in programs that addressed their interests.

Currently important applications of the Forum’s independent position include the support of corporate managers who wish to provide the leadership expected of them by responding to activist challenges with orderly reviews of issues relevant to long term investor interests.

Requests for Shareholder Forum consideration of support may be initiated confidentially by any investor or by the subject company, or by the professional advisors to either.

 

 
Lex: Willamette
Published: January 13 2002 20:21 | Last Updated: January 13 2002 20:23

The war of the woodmen drags on. But it seems increasingly obvious that Willamette sees its own shareholders as enemies, as well as rival forest product group Weyerhaeuser. Or at least the 64 per cent of them who have agreed to tender their shares to Weyerhaeuser for $55 a share. That is an impressive mandate, particularly since up to 30 per cent of Willamette's shares are held by insiders.

That Willamette should continue to ignore its shareholders' wishes is no surprise. But its talks with Georgia Pacific about buying GP's building products unit or forming a joint venture look very much like a threat to scorch the trees. GP's asbestos exposure aside, it is difficult to see how acquiring GP's commodity assets or forming an alliance would fit with past strategy pronouncements. Almost two thirds of Willamette's shareholders clearly agree. Willamette's poison pill, and staggered board, protects its managers from its owners for now. But Weyerhaeuser is not going away. In June it should get three more of its nominees on to the board, providing the majority needed to dismantle the takeover defences. Hence Willamette's threat to strike a match.

The lawsuit filed by Franklin Mutual Advisers and WyserPratte Management to stop the GP negotiations is unlikely to succeed. Yet at least it demonstrates the interests of "real" investors and arbitrageurs are aligned. The tender vote should already have made that clear. But it is encouraging that an institutional shareholder is fighting the corporate governance battle rather than voting with its feet.

Copyright: The Financial Times Limited

 

 

 

Inquiries, requests to be included in email distribution lists, and suggestions of new Forum subjects may be addressed to inquiry@shareholderforum.com.

Publicly open programs of the Shareholder Forum are conducted for free participation of all shareholders of a subject company and any fiduciaries or professionals concerned with their decisions, according to the Forum’s stated "Conditions of Participation." In all cases, each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, and participation is considered private unless the party specifically authorizes identification.

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.