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
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
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.
Investor Relations Magazine, January
14, 2009 article
Mediant clients to pay 25 percent less for
Mediant Communications is continuing its challenge to Broadridge Financial
Solutions’ near lock on the business of distributing proxy materials to
beneficial shareholders. Two months ago the firm landed its first broker
client, Legent Clearing, and today it announced it would lower proxy
processing fees for ‘several hundred’ issuers with shares held through that
The NYSE reviews the fees that Broadridge, acting on behalf of brokers, may
charge listed companies for this work. The basic processing fee is 40 cents
per beneficial account, and Mediant has announced a 25 percent discount.
‘Fees as set by the NYSE are considered high,’ says Arthur Rosenzweig,
Mediant’s president. ‘We believe fees should come down, so we’ve decided to
go lower unilaterally for issuer clients.’
Rosenzweig says he would like to see the end of an era where fees are
‘dictated’ by regulators, and are instead negotiated by issuers and their
brokers or intermediaries. ‘Now that there is competition, there is no need
for there to be any regulation of fees,’ he adds.
Mediant shared the news of the discount with issuers in the weeks leading up
to the public announcement. ‘We’ve spoken to issuer clients and they are
extremely pleased,’ Rosenzweig says.
Jeffrey Morgan, president and CEO of NIRI, notes the development. ‘I believe
the entry of new service providers into the marketplace, providing choice
and competition, is a positive event for customers or, in this case,
issuers,’ he says.
Morgan and his counterparts at
Association of Corporate Directors, the
Transfer Association and the
Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance
Professionals have raised questions about
the lack of competition in proxy services amid a fresh campaign for broader
The groups, comprising the
Shareholder Communications Coalition,
published a position paper last fall outlining their views of the faults of
the current system and urging the SEC to undertake a comprehensive review.
‘Technology and the markets have developed a great deal in the past two-plus
decades, and I am hopeful the SEC will look seriously at the internal
structure or ‘plumbing’ of the proxy process and the overall ability for
issuers to communicate with their shareholders,’ Morgan says.