Unlike annual shareholder meetings, special meetings of shareholders are called only when a significant, urgent matter arises that needs shareholder approval, such as the sale of a large company asset or a proposed merger.
In this Q&A, Scott Kindle, Mediant Strategic Account Sales Manager, and Bernard Farragher, Mediant Lead Relationship Manager, talk about our special shareholder meeting capabilities and how our solution makes it simple for issuers to deliver customized campaigns that maximize voter participation.
Q: What makes Mediant a true end-to-end shareholder meeting solution provider?
Scott: It’s a combination of our service model and technology. We have developed processes that truly usher our issuer clients from the very beginning of the process when they're planning a shareholder meeting all the way through the end that results in the Form 8-K filing. In between that, we act as the conduit and manage all the communications consolidating the project in-house and acting as an extension of the shareholders’ team. We remain nimble and agile. Companies can get through this process smoothly and quickly, as well as be able to customize it based off their shareholder base and desired meeting outcomes.
Bernard: We are a one-stop shop. From a client-facing standpoint, we are the point person for that client and provide them with white glove service from beginning to end. In addition, we do everything under one roof from the printing to the mail delivery: we have our own mail house, tabulation systems, digital platform for virtual meetings, SEC-compliant document hosting site, and also can act as inspector of elections.
Q: What type of meeting support does Mediant offer, e.g., hybrid, in-person and virtual formats, and do they apply to all types of shareholder meetings or just annual meetings?
Bernard: All three formats are available: hybrid, in-person and virtual meetings and they are transferable regardless of annual meeting or special meeting.
Scott: Our model is as good for a special meeting as it is for an annual meeting. A special meeting has a lot of twists and turns and we're able to adapt to what the client needs based off that ever-changing flow and the process leading up to the mailing. Then in turn we’re able to quickly provide customization on the messaging, which is part of our general service offering and really sets us apart.
Q: How does Mediant help increase participation in proxy voting? What role does technology play?
Bernard: When it comes to a special meeting, we look at the shareholder makeup of the client. Are they heavily institutionally held versus heavily retail held and that will help drive some of their expectations of how successful this meeting will be for them. If they are heavily institutionally held, then proxy advisory services probably have a greater influence on how their voting is going to take place. If they are heavily retail held, we can suggest and offer our retail services. For example, our Mediant Engage™ product is designed to mobilize the vote. Whether we're using direct contact or the technology that's available with our contact center―messaging, voicemail, prerecorded messages, multiple rounds of reminders, text messages, emails and physical mail, we will guide them.
For the Engage touchpoints through the contact center, we will look at the data and grab the NOBO list to see where the voting power is. We’ll then put together a targeted dialing campaign and an outreach campaign to motivate those individual shareholders.
Scott: I think it's important to also recognize that for special meetings in particular, every vote matters so there's a need to have a specific emphasis on making information readily available, which we do so the shareholder can vote with confidence. And when they're voting with confidence, they're going to vote more often.
Q: How does Mediant enhance the client experience?
Scott: I think the biggest take away for client experience and biggest thing we need to focus on is the fact that we truly do the heavy lifting of the meeting process for the client. By taking that off their plate, it allows them to focus on everything else they have going on.
Bernard: After the initial phone call with any client, we put together a timeline that is designed to keep everybody on track from the day of that phone call through to the milestones and deadlines, concluding with a successful shareholder meeting. We also have regularly scheduled phone or video calls with clients. I think that between the emails we issue with the phase reports and the regular calls, there's always a comfort level that everybody's on the same page throughout the process.
Q: Why should an issuer choose Mediant over the competition?
Scott: We provide greater technology and customization, which is built into our custom or standard packaging of a service. Our ability to not only utilize hot buttons and post videos on the document hosting page, send out text messages to shareholders encouraging them to vote and participate or just informing them about why you're doing what you're doing as an issuer really sets us apart. And then of course, the real-time tabulation and the instant vote reporting. Also, we don’t require the issuer to do anything besides provide a couple authorizations and approvals to complete the project. We truly are an extension of the issuer’s team.
Bernard: And getting back to the one-stop shop mentality, if Scott is the relationship manager for the client, any request goes to Scott and he makes things happen internally. So it's the consistency and reliability of one voice going back to the client, while also providing white glove service.
For more information about our special shareholder meeting services, contact us.