We are announcing two new services and a small increase in our fees, which we will begin implementing in July.
For more than a year now we have been evaluating ways we can improve our oversight of your investments. Like you, we have grown increasingly concerned about the behavior of corporate executives and whether boards of directors and outside auditors are doing their jobs to protect the interests of shareholders.
We have observed over these last two years that our traditional sources of independent research are simply not effective enough in identifying certain problems that might exist within individual companies. Accordingly, in our search for better solutions we have identified two services that we think can help.
The first service is offered by Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS). ISS provides thorough and highly detailed analyses of management proposals to shareholders, and recommends how shareholders should vote in order to protect their interests. In addition, ISS will give BWFA the operational capability to cast proxy votes on behalf of our clients. Using ISS will provide you with three distinct advantages:
- It will give you a significant and meaningful voice on important issues.
- It will relieve you from the task/responsibility of voting proxies.
- It will significantly reduce the amount of unsolicited mail you receive.
Evaluation of Corporate Boards
The second service is offered by The Corporate Library (TCL). TCL provides detailed analyses and evaluations of corporate boards of directors. The company has developed a series of specific measurements (metrics) which provide insight into how well the board is doing its job: overseeing management of the firm, managing the audit process, dealing properly with executive compensation, etc. TCL reduces their quantitative and qualitative analyses into a one-letter �effectiveness score� and provides important insights not available elsewhere.
If you would like to see a sample of the excellent analyses done by ISS or TCL, please give us a call and we will send you a sample.
Important Additional Information About These New Services
These services will benefit all clients, and there is no way we can make them optional.
- Both companies charge fees for their services. To help defray a portion of the cost of these improvements, BWFA will charge you an additional $10 per quarter. No other fees apply from BWFA, ISS or TCL. We have done everything we can to keep these fees as low as possible.
- You will need to sign paperwork on each of your accounts, authorizing us to vote your shares.
- Chasity Crawley will be contacting all Investment Management clients in the near future to begin implementing the new service.
Contact Our Client Board
Our Client Advisory Board members have volunteered to speak with anyone who has questions about the new services or any other aspect of BWFA. Call Leslie at (410) 461-3900 if you would like any of their names and phone numbers. You may also learn more about our Client Advisory Board by visiting our website at www.bwfa.com/board/.
It�s going to take everyone involved in the investment process to improve the fairness and integrity of our financial markets. We hope you share our view that these changes are a positive step toward this goal.
As always, we are very interested in your feedback. Please give us a call or e-mail your comments.