1. Does your company ever impose a “blanket blackout period” for all or a large group of employees?
– Regularly before, at, and right after the end of each quarter – 78%
– Only in rare circumstances – 15%
– Never – 7%
2. Does your company allow employees (that are subject to blackout) to gift stock to a charitable, educational or similar institution during a blackout period?
– Yes, but they must preclear the gift first – 47%
– Yes, and they don’t need to preclear the gift – 16%
– No – 30%
– Not sure, it hasn’t come up and it’s not addressed in our insider trading policy – 7%
3. Does your company allow employees (that are subject to blackout) to gift stock to a family member during a blackout period?
– Yes, but they must preclear the gift first – 37%
– Yes, and they don’t need to preclear the gift – 14%
– No – 38%
– Not sure, it hasn’t come up and it’s not addressed in our insider trading policy – 11%
4. Are your company’s outside directors covered by blackout or window periods and preclearance requirements?
– Yes – 100%
– No – 0%
5. Our company’s insider trading policy defines those employees subject to a blackout period by roughly:
– Stating that all Section 16 officers are subject to blackout – 3%
– Stating that all Section 16 officers “and those employees privy to financial information” are subject to blackout – 4%
– Stating that all Section 16 officers “and others as designated by the company” are subject to blackout – 38%
– Stating that all Section 16 officers “and those employees privy to financial information and others as designated by the company” are subject to blackout – 35%
– All employees – 16%
– Some other definition – 4%
– Our company doesn’t have an insider trading policy- 0%
Please take a moment to participate anonymously in these surveys:
The “Shareholder” v. “Stockholder” Debate
This “Harvard Law” blog claims that companies that use the word “stockholder” hold the sinister view that investors are passive and powerless book-entries:
Today, the term “stockholder” gives off a whiff of a Mad Men-era world where investors were bystanders. Nearly all institutional investors have junked “stockholder” for “shareholder” when referring to themselves. They see their roles not as passive holders of electronic notations but as parties sharing responsibilities for performance when they invest in a company.
That’s why Blackrock CEO Larry Fink recently wrote to corporate boards referring to investors conspicuously as “owners”— the word “stockholder” is nowhere to be found.
So, the blog concludes that the move to “shareholder” was caused by greater attention to investor rights and long-term stewardship. Maybe it’s just me – but I think we’re reading too much into this terminology. I interned for a Delaware Justice – we always used “stockholder” since that’s the word used in the DGCL. But I use “shareholder” for companies incorporated in states that follow the Model Business Corporation Act or otherwise use that terminology in their statute. On this site, we almost always use “shareholder” – but we do that because it’s easier, not as a statement on investor rights. This blog might’ve eliminated my last hope that actions matter more than words.
On the other hand, maybe there’s something to it. Keith Bishop pointed out that even though the blog focuses on the “shareholder v. stockholder” distinction – the nomenclature it’s really trying to argue for is “shareowner.” Here’s his note:
It is my understanding that shareholder activists have adopted the term “shareowner” as a way of signaling that they are more than passive investors (i.e., they are owners, not mere holders). CalPERS, for example, refers to itself as a “shareowner”. I haven’t run across any corporate statutes that have adopted the term, however. As for Delaware, the DGCL uses the term “stockholder”. Incongruously, however, Rule 23.1 of the Delaware Court of Chancery Rules refers to “shareholder”.
Poll: “Shareholder” v. “Stockholder”?
Please take our anonymous poll about your views on investor terminology:
– Liz Dunshee