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 shareholder engagement as
well as 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.
March 9, 2010 article
Prudential offers gifts to
boost proxy vote
Mar 09, 2010
Eco-friendly gifts to encourage shareholder
voting and promote CSR
It used to be that buying stock was like a free gift with purchase. Whether
it was a box of chewing gum from Wrigley’s or discounts on a Carnival cruise
line, it was good to be an investor. At many companies the glory days of
shareholder perks are over, but for some of Prudential Financial’s
investors, those days may be making a comeback.
Like many companies this proxy season, the insurance giant is on a mission
to increase shareholder participation. ‘We all have to figure out why
shareholders are not voting and what we can do,’ says Peggy Foran,
Prudential’s chief governance officer and corporate secretary. ‘You can
create all the websites in the world, but if you cannot engage people, you
cannot communicate with them,’ she adds.
Prudential’s new, experimental method of engagement: free gift with vote.
Those who cast a vote at the upcoming annual meeting will receive their
choice of an eco-friendly tote bag or a tree planted on their behalf. These
environmentally friendly gifts also serve to address the campaign’s dual
purpose of promoting Prudential’s CSR program. ‘It is something we are very
proud of,’ says Foran, ‘and from a financial services company, some people
may not know the type of work we have done.’
For now, the offer applies only to registered shareholders, but if the
experiment proves successful, Foran hopes to expand the program to include
retail investors. ‘I am hoping that, assuming this works, this is something
the SEC would allow in a notice statement,’ she says.
Regardless of how the experiment turns out, the cost, says Foran, ‘is
actually one of the less expensive ways of reminding shareholders to vote
and it is far cheaper than having a proxy solicitor interrupt them at
dinner.’ We will know the results after the shareholder meeting, but really,
who doesn’t like free stuff?
By Katie Feuer