June 16, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is in response to the invitation to submit comments on File No. SR-NYSE-2011-20, the notice of filing of a proposed rule change to add a new section (907.00) to the Listed Company Manual that sets forth certain complimentary products and services that are offered to currently and newly listed issuers.
To give you some background on my company, Q4 Web Systems is a software firm founded in 2005 that provides on-demand solutions to help public companies in the management and distribution of corporate material information through investor websites, social and financial media.
I am gravely concerned with this proposal for a number of reasons:
Public companies should have a choice in Their Service Providers – NYSE-listed companies should be able to choose providers that are most suited to their requirements and that can deliver both the service and quality they are looking for. NYSE provides Thomson Reuters (TR) IR website hosting as part of its complimentary offering. In the last several months, we have replaced this product with the Q4 web system for a number of NYSE companies, largely due to TR product limitations and a poor level of service, particularly for small and mid cap issuers. Listed companies should not be saddled with solutions that they feel are not meeting their needs.
NYSE should allow credit to be applied to any service provider – Rather than force listed companies to use a provider that doesnt meet their requirements, NYSE should allow listed companies to apply their credit to a service provider of their choice. We know of public companies who have sought the ability to do so, but to this point, NYSE has not agreed.
Competition is good for the market and spurs innovation - By keeping the market fair and open to all service providers, the competitive environment will demand innovation in order for those providers to gain market share. By guaranteeing the business of all NYSE-listed companies to any service provider, the need for innovation will diminish and the listed companies will suffer.
Exchanges should be incented to enable their listed companies to better compete globally – Its an international competition for capital and further to my point regarding innovation, if NYSE-listed companies are forced to use services that are not as progressive as they could get elsewhere, companies listed on other exchanges - where innovation still thrives – will have a competitive advantage. This will hurt the public companies, their investors (through reduced liquidity) and ultimately the U.S.capital markets.
Small and mid-cap companies suffer most – lesser-known and smaller companies are those that suffer most from the NYSE bundled offering. The execution and delivery of some of these services for smaller companies is substandard and hurts their ability to attract investors. In addition, more innovative products also incorporate some of the newer social technologies more effectively, giving smaller companies a cost-effective way to broaden their reach and increase exposure to their investment opportunity.
I ask that you do the right thing for NYSE-listed companies, their investors and the U.S. capital markets – give public companies the ability to choose providers that best serve their requirements and ensure that NYSE allows their credit to be applied to vendors of their choice.
Q4 Web System