SOURCE: Forum for Corporate Directors

December 05, 2007 13:30 ET

Former NIRI President to Address FCD January Breakfast on Critical Governance Issues for 2008 Proxy Season

NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - December 5, 2007) - The Forum for Corporate Directors (FCD), a leading Southern California resource for promoting excellence in corporate governance and boardroom leadership, today announced that Louis M. Thompson Jr., former President and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), will be the featured speaker at FCD's breakfast meeting on January 17, 2008, on critical issues for the coming proxy season.

"Lou Thompson's distinguished career in the world of investor relations and corporate governance makes him uniquely qualified to counsel boards of directors on the important aspects of the 2008 proxy season and he'll not only cover those ever-changing issues but will show directors how they can make more effective use of their companies' investor relations officers (IROs) to make it safely through next spring's proxy season," said John Rehfeld, FCD Chairman.

"More than ever before, public company directors will need to be well prepared because even though the Securities and Exchange Commission is putting new proxy access rules on the back burner, there are still many issues that need attention," Rehfeld said. "Lou Thompson will provide insight into how invaluable top-flight IROs can be in providing input and feedback to boards that can help in the decision-making process."

Among these issues are:

--  Understanding the impact of "empty voting" on the election of
    directors, as an increasing number of companies adopt majority voting
--  Handling increases in "say-on-pay" proxy proposals, which are hard to
    ignore, even though they may be non-binding;
--  Knowing exactly who your company's biggest stockholders are, so boards
    can avoid surprises and deal more effectively with activist investors
    (particularly hedge funds);
--  Assessing the growing importance of individual investors as the
    shareholder democracy movement gains momentum;
--  Handling the requirement that NYSE member brokerage firms, prior to
    the 2008 proxy season, must re-solicit their Street-name shareholders as to
    whether they want to be non-objecting beneficial owners (NOBOs) and have
    their identities disclosed so companies can communicate with them directly
    about proxy issues or be objecting beneficial owners (OBOs) and not
    disclose their identity.

There is no one more qualified to provide directions on important subjects like these than Lou Thompson, Rehfeld noted. A renowned expert on corporate disclosure, governance and other strategic board and management issues, he authored NIRI's Standards of Practice for Corporate Disclosure. A former White House Assistant Press Secretary to President Gerald Ford, he has been a TV news anchor and is Chairman of the Advisory Council for Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

Thompson is now a Managing Director of Kalorama Partners LLC, a Washington powerhouse consultancy in the areas of corporate governance, risk assessment, crisis management and the structure and performance evaluation of boards and board committees. He serves as an advisor to the SEC as well as to the New York Stock Exchange's Individual Investor Advisory Committee. A prolific author of magazine articles in the field, Thompson writes a monthly column for Compliance Week and is currently writing a book on investor relations and corporate governance.

This important FCD meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Irvine (at the 405 freeway and Jamboree Road) on Thursday, January 17, 2008. The event starts with registration and networking at 7:00 a.m. and the program begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $25 for FCD members and $45 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the FCD web site at:

About Forum for Corporate Directors

Founded in 1991, the Forum for Corporate Directors is Orange County's leading resource for promoting excellence in corporate governance and boardroom leadership to help directors and executives grow their enterprise value. FCD is a non-profit organization that offers dynamic forums for director peer interaction, conducts ISS-certified director education and development programs, and provides directors and executives of public and private companies the opportunity to gain valuable ideas and information that promote board leadership and corporate governance.

The FCD's members include many of Southern California's top business and corporate leaders. In addition, corporate members include Advanced Medical Optics, Alacer Corp., Broadcom Corp., Commerce Energy, Emulex Corporation, Multi-Fineline Electronix, Microsemi Corporation, Powerwave Technologies, QLogic Corporation, Resources Global Professionals, SRS Labs, and The Paul Merage School of Business Executive MBA Programs at UC Irvine.

Contact Information

  • Editors, for additional information, please contact:
    Michelle Conry
    Operations Manager
    Forum for Corporate Directors
    4675 MacArthur Court, Suite 800
    Newport Beach, California 92660
    (949) 375-3323
    Email Contact