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Rating:Fund Firms Take Costly Steps to Break Shareholder Inertia

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Fund Firms Take Costly Steps to Break Shareholder Inertia

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Some fund firms have been taking extra -- and costly -- steps to get shareholders to cast their votes on proposals, Daisy Maxey writes in Monday's Wall Street Journal Fund Track column. The fund companies that have postponed special meetings of shareholders due to the lack of response include Fidelity and DWS Scudder.

DWS Scudder spokesman Lemuel Brewster told Maxey that the firm has witnessed a drop in response rates. Vin Loporchio, spokesman for Fidelity, said that generally "it's a bit of a challenge to achieve quorum." Fidelity recently floated a proposal to decrease the amount of shares outstanding needed to reach a quorum in some cases.

To get shareholders' attention, asset management firms have been forced to hire proxy solicitors and make repeated phone calls and mailings.  

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