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How Proactive Monitoring Strengthens Your Shareholder Engagement Strategy

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Proactive monitoring of shareholders is essential for developing a stronger shareholder engagement strategy.

Having investor intelligence and a strong investor communications plan can help to provide valuable insights into how the street views your company. To stay ahead of shareholder sentiment, management should engage throughout the entire year. An active year-long shareholder communications plan that includes leadership and board members can provide an opportunity to level set investors’ expectations and perceptions of the company. 

Detailed ownership information and analysis about shareholders, including who exactly owns shares, their motivations for investing or divesting, and significant trends, builds a better understanding of what is driving share price performance and overall investor satisfaction. Analytics covering shareholder trading activity and any significant changes provide valuable insights to address possible future issues. Identifying key shareholders, whether fundamental or corporate governance focused, retail or institutional, and their recent activities facilitates better understanding of their expectations and drives more effective communication strategies.

Once you gain a deeper understanding of your shareholders, you can implement targeted and personalized communication plans. This, in turn, leads to enhanced shareholder engagement and increased support. To foster better engagement, lower risks, and increase shareholder support, companies should establish and nurture relationships with their top investors. This entails knowing shareholder profiles, understanding voting history and voting guidelines, reviewing, their concerns, and anticipating future voting and aligning with overall corporate goals. Sustained outreach before, during, and after the annual meeting is crucial for cultivating strong relationships.  

Staying abreast of changes and trends in share ownership enables companies to anticipate shifts in shareholder dynamics and adapt outreach strategies accordingly. Some of the primary reasons proactively monitoring shareholders is crucial:

Early Identification of Shareholder Activism: Regularly reviewing ownership data allows companies to detect signs of potential shareholder activism at an early stage. By analyzing ownership patterns and identifying shareholders with a history of activism, companies can take proactive measures to engage with these shareholders, address their concerns, and potentially mitigate the risk of a contentious activist campaign.

Understanding Investor Sentiment: Monitoring ownership data helps companies gauge investor sentiment towards their stock. Tracking changes in ownership, analyzing trading patterns, and assessing the sentiment of influential shareholders allows companies to gain insights into how investors perceive their company. This understanding enables them to make informed decisions, communicate more effectively, and take necessary actions that align with shareholder expectations.

Tracking Institutional Investor Behavior: Institutional investors play a significant role in capital markets. Proactive monitoring of institutional ownership data allows companies to identify influential institutional investors, track their investment strategies, and stay informed about their voting patterns and engagement practices. This knowledge helps companies build relationships with key institutional investors, understand their priorities, and align their strategies to attract and retain long-term institutional support.

Identifying Activist Shareholders: Proactive monitoring allows companies to identify activist  shareholders accumulating significant stakes in the company. These new shareholders may have different investment objectives and expectations. By engaging with them early on and understanding their motivations, companies can build relationships, address any concerns with the Company’s strategy, and potentially align interests.

Anticipating Shareholder Proposals:  By analyzing ownership data and understanding the Company’s corporate governance profile, companies can anticipate and address potential shareholder proposals. This approach enables companies to evaluate the feasibility and impact of these proposals, engage in dialogue, and potentially find common ground or alternative solutions that address shareholder concerns.

Tailoring Engagement Strategies: Understanding the priorities, guidelines, and objectives of shareholders, companies can develop customized, targeted communication initiatives, provide relevant information, and foster stronger relationships, ultimately enhancing targeted shareholder engagement and support.

Risk Management: Regular monitoring helps companies identify potential risks associated with changes in shareholder composition. This includes identifying changing concentrated ownership positions, tracking activities of short-term traders, or spotting potential accumulation and hostile activities. When proactively watching for these risks, companies can see them early on and develop plans to manage and mitigate them effectively.

Greater Knowledge Per Share

Having as much ownership information for every shareholder is crucial for managing the long-term relationship with the company's owners and investors. Comprehensive ownership intelligence drives engagement. By actively managing this relationship throughout the year, companies can stay ahead of shareholder sentiment, proxy vote outcomes, activists, and unforeseen events. The implementation of new universal proxy voting rules by the SEC has also heightened attention, with issuers more concerned about a higher volume of proxy fights and shareholders having an easier path to win board representation.

Proactive monitoring and understanding the information each share provides - enables early detection of potential activist risks, helps gauge investor direction, and facilitates tailored engagement strategies.  By staying ahead of changes in ownership dynamics, and proxy advisory firm influence, companies can strengthen their shareholder engagement strategies, build relationships with key stakeholders, and foster long-term value creation for both the company and its shareholders.

Proactive Monitoring 1


Do you have comprehensive analytics on your shareholder proposals? Do you have the proper analytics on shareholder proposal activity, average support levels, institutional voting and proxy advisory firm recommendations to develop a sound solicitation and shareholder engagement strategy?

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How well do you know your shareholders? How will they vote? Do you have an experienced proxy solicitor with proxy fight experience? Are you prepared to address shareholder activism?

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Are there changes to leadership or corporate strategy? Do investors understand the short and long-term opportunities for their investment? Is your current shareholder engagement strategy working?

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