After a Year of Devastating Decline, Corporate Executives and Boards Must Begin Rebuilding Trust

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Georgeson and Edelman to host Webcast exploring the impact and implications of the "Trust Meltdown" on corporate governance.

2008 Global Agency of the Year

Georgeson Inc., a leading provider of corporate governance and proxy services, and Edelman, the world's leading independent public relations firm, today announced they will host a public webcast on February 19 to discuss how the decline of trust in business by shareholders and other stakeholders can be reversed.

"Edelman's 2009 Trust Barometer showed that trust in business in the U.S. declined 20 points, below the level seen immediately after Enron, and that more than three-quarters of respondents say they trust corporations less now than they did one year ago. This has significant implications for corporate executives and board of directors, and suggest they must take vigorous steps to begin restoring trust," said Matthew J. Harrington, President and CEO, Edelman U.S.

"Edelman's comprehensive study on trust reflects initiatives we expect to see during this proxy season, including a sharp increase in "say on pay" shareholder resolutions, and an increase in overall governmental regulation," said Rachel Posner, Senior Managing Director and General Counsel, Georgeson.

By a three-to-one margin, informed survey participants agree government should impose stricter regulations and greater control over business across all industries. Respondents also say being able to "trust a company" is one of the most important factors in determining a company's reputation. Among the global respondents, trust ranks just below the quality of a company's products and its treatment of employees--more important than a company's financial future, job creation, giving back to the community, and innovation in products and services. Transparency, defined as frequent and honest communication, also outranks those attributes.

Combining insights from Edelman's 10th Annual Trust Barometer and Georgeson's unparalleled research and expert analysis on shareholder activism and corporate governance, this interactive webcast will explore the historic decline of trust, the steps that corporate executives must take to restore it, and what to expect in the coming proxy season.

To register, go to either http://www.georgeson.com or http://www.edelman.com/trust/2009/ and visit the Trust and Governance 2009 areas or go directly to https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=133448&sessionid=1&key=84DAB97524C35FAFABFCA9494E607905&sourcepage=register.

Georgeson is the world's leading provider of strategic proxy and corporate governance advisory services to corporations and shareholder groups working to influence corporate strategy. For over half a century, Georgeson has specialized in complex solicitations such as hostile and friendly acquisitions, proxy contests and takeover defenses. For eight consecutive years, Georgeson has been ranked the No. 1 proxy solicitor for M&A transactions in the US by Corporate Control Alert. For more information, visit http://www.georgeson.com.

Edelman is the world's leading independent public relations firm, with over 3,600 employees in 54 offices worldwide. Edelman was named PRWeek's "2008 Large Agency of the Year," Holmes Report's "2008 Global Agency of the Year," and listed as top-10 firm in Advertising Age's "2007 Agency A-List," the first and only PR firm to receive this recognition. In 2007, CEO Richard Edelman was honored as "Agency Executive of the Year" by Advertising Age, and he was cited in 2007 and 2008 as "Most Powerful PR Executive" by PRWeek. For more information about Edelman visit http://www.edelman.com.

Media Contacts

Georgeson
Jeff Stein
Tel: 1 212 805 7271
jeff.stein(at)computershare.com

Edelman
Kevin Sheridan
Tel: 1 202 312 1091
kevin.sheridan(at)edelman.com

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