June 6, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
A group of investor relations industry professionals including MZ-Ilios have come together to respectively provide comments against the passage of the rule change without the acknowledgment that a better model is needed.
In this comment, a better solution is proposed that would level the playing field for competition and provide the same level of service, if not better service to NYSE listed companies and their prospects.
If this is passed in its current form and does not allow all legitimate service providers to use the NYSE subsidy, that will legitimatize the destruction of an entire industry and award a near monopoly while thwarting competition and innovation in the sector.
Many of the companies responding have all experienced and can provide information that the result of this NYSE program has and will continue to reduce competition,and make the industry unsustainable as a business.
The issue is that the current structure awards only two companies while customers have vocally been against using them in many cases. In some cases asking the NYSE to use their subsidy dollars provided for these services with other vendors.
The two companies, Thomson Reuters, which has a over a 70% market share in the Investor Relations services industry, and Ipreo, which is a large organization that at the time of the partnerships announcement was the number three player in the capital markets intelligence business of investor relations, are continuing to benefit and use this subsidy to obtain clients with free services. Detroying any chance for a competitor to survive.
Does this Benefit Issuers?
No, This does not benefit Issuers. There are companies that have asked the NYSE to allow them to use their subsidy or credit for capital market intelligence and IR Websites with their vendor of choosing. Why would the NYSE chose not to allow them to do it? But instead force them to use a new player in the market, or a near-monopoly at Thomson Reuters?
Deutshe Borse Merger:
As the NYSE considers the merger with Deutsche Borse, they are not aligned in this area. The Deutshe Borse has a very different model that provides a level playing field for all IR service companies and is a revenue source for the exchange.
The Deutshe Borse allows qualified vendors to pay to be in the network of service providers. Which is a marketing network that can be accessed by listed companies. The question the SEC should ask is why would the NYSE choose to try and adopt the rule change of 907 now, when Deutsche Borse has a different model? A better and more fare model that NYSE proposal in Rule 907.00.
A Better Solution:
A better solution for the Issuers, Investor Relations Market participants and shareholders of NYSE is to provide a voucher program from the NYSE to their Issuers. Rule 907 states that the vendors are non-exclusive, but in practice it is not a priority as customers continue to complain about using the existing vendors in the partnership.
The Rule change should add that all service providers that an Issuer wants to use, can access a voucher from the NYSE to pay for such services.
This would allow the Issuer the choice of vendor. The exchange still benefits from providing the service through a vendor of the Issuers' choosing and competition increases also providing better services to the NYSE and its listed companies due to natural market forces.
This would level the playing field and allow all companies, both large and small to compete.