The Shareholder Forum

supporting investor interests in the use of their capital to produce goods and services


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 CFA Society of New York (at the time known as 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.  




CONTACT:                Sinead Martin                                       Laura McNamara

617-760-8515                                     617-760-1108





BOSTON, Mass., August 1, 2005Putnam Investments and the Board of Trustees of the Putnam Mutual Funds today announced that they intend to vote shares of Providian Financial Corporation held in client accounts and the Funds, respectively, against the proposed merger of Providian with Washington Mutual, Inc. 

Putnam regards the price as inadequate and believes recent fundamental trends and Providian management's outlook confirm Putnam's judgment on the value of the Providian franchise.  In a consolidating industry and in light of the recently announced Bank of America/MBNA transaction, mono-line credit card companies such as Providian represent an increasingly scarce asset that should command a higher price.  By accepting a price well below the fair value of the Providian common stock, Putnam believes the merger would transfer significant value to Washington Mutual's existing shareholders, at the direct expense of Providian's shareholders.

Putnam Investments and the Putnam Funds currently have the power to vote approximately 7.5% of Providian’s outstanding shares of common stock (based upon the number of shares outstanding as of June 30, 2005).


About Putnam Investments:

Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is one of the nation’s oldest and largest money management firms.  As of June 30, 2005, Putnam managed $195 billion in assets, of which $132 billion is for mutual fund investors and $63 billion is for institutional clients.  Putnam has headquarters in Boston and offices in London and Tokyo. 







Inquiries, requests to be included in email distribution lists, and suggestions of new Forum subjects may be addressed to

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.