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3 Best Practices in Relationship Management

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

EQ, formerly Wells Fargo Shareowner Services, has ranked first in overall satisfaction, customer loyalty and service to shareholders for 16 years. What's their secret?

Thousands of books have been written on the subject of relationship management, but at EQ it boils down to three basic ingredients: people, mindset, and processes. Without giving away too many trade secrets, here's the special sauce that EQ's client services teams bring to shareholder services.

Our relationship management teams care very much about our clients. They have a strong commitment to doing the right thing. 

— Susan Roeder, Manager, Relationship Management, EQ

Experienced people

In this highly technical business, experience matters. EQ’s leadership team has an average of 20 years of financial services industry experience, and they’re all working on your behalf. "We volunteer on industry boards, belong to industry associations and have weekly meetings to discuss industry issues affecting our clients and ways to continuously improve our service to our clients and their shareholders," explains Susan Roeder, Manager, Relationship Management at EQ.

Every EQ client, from the largest to the smallest, is assigned a dedicated relationship manager and an account associate. Together, they manage the day-to-day needs of your company and your shareholders. This highly experienced team is carefully chosen to match your business needs and your communications style. They are brought in early, before or during the onboarding process, to give you a single point of contact from day one.

Behind every relationship management team lies the support of our client services, product and corporate actions teams, who are ready to help at a moment's notice. Support teams provide backup for routine operations such as dividend disbursements or annual client audit letters, while teams of dedicated experts are available to manage special initiatives, from complex corporate actions and new investment plans, to state unclaimed property audits.

Client-first mindset

From the start, EQ’s relationship management teams take a collaborative, solutions-focused approach to your business. In addition to managing the technical aspects of the business, they are thinking strategically and creatively about your business, your employees, your investors and your shareholders. Among many other things, they can help you better understand your shareholder base, provide guidance and offerings on investment plans, effect mergers or acquisitions, work through state unclaimed property audits, and prepare for annual meetings.

EQ takes its position as an industry leader seriously, and its employees feel the same sense of responsibility. They stay up to date on industry trends and legislative changes, advising clients on best practices in a changing world – even advocating for them when necessary. As Susan Roeder puts it, "Our relationship management teams care very much about our clients. They have a strong commitment to doing the right thing."

Proven processes

EQ's deep expertise across all functions of shareholder services means that there's a proven, disciplined process in place for every transaction, from routine dividend disbursements to mergers and acquisitions. They work with your internal team and legal advisors, as well as the SEC and DTC to ensure accuracy, security, compliance and adherence to regulatory demands. While specialized teams handle high-profile events, your client services team keeps everything else moving smoothly along.

Client services

  • Record keeping
  • Shareholder inquiries
  • Issuer inquiries & reports
  • Share issuances
  • Dividend payments
  • Dividend reinvestment
  • Abandoned property compliance
  • Shareholder mailings
  • Annual meeting services

 Additional services

  • Investment & Employee Plans
  • Corporate Actions
  • Initial Public Offerings

This level of experience translates to faster and better service. "It really is a team effort,” explains Peggy Sime, Relationship Manager at EQ. "Our internal teams work very closely together and know what's happening with every client, so if anything comes up there's a high level of responsiveness."

Regular communications, performance tracking and annual reviews are an important part of every relationship. EQ teams adapt their style of communication to each client, whether they prefer frequent, detailed communications or only when necessary. Clients have monthly access to KPIs related to shareholder service and satisfaction. Annual “relationship reviews” identify future goals and initiatives, successes to celebrate and areas to improve.

Collaborative approach

In short, client services at EQ is about more than getting the technical things right, although that certainly comes first. An experienced client services team offers expert guidance, strategic thinking and excellent service from a single point of contact. People, mindset and processes are the basic ingredients to this special sauce.

Our internal teams work very closely together and know every client's needs, so if anything comes up there's a high level of responsiveness. 

— Peggy Sime, Relationship Manager