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Q&A Forum

Stock Surveillance Services Cost & Benefits (Webinar Attendee Question)

Is stock surveillance worth the money for a CFO/Investor Relations professional?

This question was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar "Analytics: The MVP on Your Investor Relations Team" held on January 9, 2013.  Join the discussion and add your insights below.

A video of the webinar can be viewed here:


Topic Expert
Phyllis Proffer
Title: Owner, Investor Relations Counselor
Company: The Heights Company, LLC
(Owner, Investor Relations Counselor, The Heights Company, LLC) |

There was a time I would have recommended investing in stock surveillance only if the company was going through a major transition. I feel differently today due to the growth in shareholder activism, high frequency trading, dark pools, and the absence of reporting by certain funds. Institutions which do report their positions are allowed 45 days after the close of the quarter. As an example, we need to wait until the middle of February 2013 to learn who held our shares on December 31, 2012. Seems like a long time by today’s standards. A good stock surveillance firm will deliver information much faster. A consideration, of course, would be the cost of surveillance compared with the trading volume of your company’s shares. I have three cautions. 1) It can take from six months to a year for the stock surveillance analyst to get up to speed on your shareholders. 2) It is prudent to monitor the accuracy of your surveillance reports by occasionally comparing with SEC filings. 3) Do not confuse stock surveillance with proxy solicitation or feel the need to bundle.


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