April 2, 2002
Mr. J. T. Batenbery III
Troy, MI 48098
Dear Mr. Batenbery:
I am writing to protest the form in which you have delivered Doublecrosser’s annual report and proxy statement. In this day of widespread corporate fraud and outright theft, it is of the utmost importance that investors be able to access freely and easily the information they need to make reasoned decisions about their stock holdings.
I have found your proxy statement and annual report most difficult to use. Being a small investor, it is doubly important to me to understand the workings of the companies in which I am a shareholder because each share represents proportionally more of my investments. I have spent over an hour trying to find information on the proposed directors, the matters to be voted upon at the annual meeting and the independent auditor, much of it without success. It takes each page of the report approximately two minutes to load, at which time, I can scan to discover whether or not it contains any of the information I need.
The text of the report is sprinkled with acronyms which are unfamiliar to me and undefined in the text, causing me to consult an acronym finder on the internet to find out what exactly it is that you are talking about. I find this very inconvenient.
I greatly prefer to receive my reports and proxy statements electronically because of environmental concerns. This should not prevent me from having free and easy access to the information I require.
Specifically, I believe that you should re-examine the following aspects of your presentation:
Acronyms should be spelled out on first mention. This is standard practice almost everywhere; if you prefer not to do so, the alternative is not to use acronyms. Because you know the meaning of a string of capital letters does not mean that your shareholders do.
At a minimum, include proposed directors’ biographies, other board memberships, and stock holdings in the annual report.
Choose a format for the report that does not require the reader to load and scan every page individually. Adobe Acrobat creates easily navigable documents for use on the internet. There is no reason your company cannot specify that your IT (Information Technology) department put the information into a portable document file (.PDF).
In closing I would like to suggest that you take a look at ChevronTexaco’s annual report for this year. It is a prime example of how to do things so that shareholders can access materials conveniently and make informed choices.
William C. Shareholder
Doublecrosser Communications Department
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