On May 9, TELUS will report to our shareholders on TELUS’ strong performance in 2012, share our first quarter 2013 results, and provide updates on our intentions with regards to our dividend growth program and a potential share repurchase program. Through our various predecessor companies we have been sharing information about our operations and our finances in one form or another with investors for decades. Over this time, our approach to investor relations has evolved significantly and it continues to do so.
This year, in both our annual report and at our annual shareholder meeting in Montreal, we are putting the spotlight on our customer commitment. This focus reflects our very strong belief that our efforts to put customers first will also enable us to grow value for all our stakeholders including shareholders. Our two-for-one stock split last month was an initiative to be customer focused by enhancing our share-trading liquidity for all shareholders and improving the affordability of our shares for retail investors.
Our investors have come to expect certain things from us over the years. For example, we set annual financial targets and have clear financial policies in place that provide clarity and help drive organizational performance. We also believe in continuous improvement as we pursue greater financial transparency and implement new initiatives that enhance good corporate governance. We are a big believer from the top down that providing as much clarity as is possible, while taking into account regulatory and competitive factors, differentiates us from our peers, reduces uncertainty and should help our company’s valuation. It is well known that investors don’t like too much uncertainty and it can hurt share valuation.
We also provide great clarity on our corporate governance practices and strive to continuously improve. Most recently, our company has adopted new policies that formalize the company’s expectations of the members of our Board of Directors, such as limiting the number of boards, other than TELUS’ Board, of which directors can be members to four or, if a director is employed full-time as an executive at a public company, to two. We also now have a policy in place that limits the ability of our CEO to sit on the board of a public company whose CEO sits on our Board. At the annual meeting on May 9, we are asking shareholders to approve amendments to our company’s Articles to eliminate the non-voting shares. Since February 2013, all TELUS shareholders have had full voting rights following the exchange of all non-voting shares for common shares. In addition, we are modernizing the Articles to address regulatory changes since being last altered in 2005 and to reflect best practice.
These types of initiatives and our ongoing commitment to customers and investors have helped us develop an enviable reputation. TELUS is a recognized leader in corporate and financial disclosure globally and in Canada. Last year, we received the top overall disclosure award from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants – the third year in a row TELUS has been ranked the best.
Today, our shareholders also expect us to be good stewards of the environment. Therefore, we print significantly fewer annual reports than we did even two years ago and encourage our shareholders to review our report online and print just the sections they need. We stopped printing our Corporate Social Responsibility Report several years ago, so it is only available online. This year, we also changed the way we distribute our information circular. We notify shareholders when the circular is available online. If they want a printed copy, they simply have to let us know.
The world of investor relations will continue to evolve and we remain committed to keeping our company on the leading edge and helping to make the future friendly.