Several factors have been part of my development at Morrow Sodali, first and foremost, its been my colleagues and the team atmosphere. Initially, I was in the position of being able to learn from the ground up and from the Godfather of Proxy, Joe Morrow, who understood contested situations and took that knowledge to the Stock Surveillance/Capital Market Intelligence Group. We were able to create specific reports to adhere to the clients’ needs, from typical buyers/sellers pages to earnings call Activist Screens and breakout reports. Also, I used that knowledge when the SPAC boom started two years ago and created a new service, Pre Record Date Surveillance reporting, which was extremely helpful in assisting SPACs with their profile assessment to identify their ARB penetration and retail mix.
Staying ahead of the curve, whether it’s with ESG issues or understanding new investors and helping our clients with any shareholder needs, has always been our number one priority. As we’ve learned, investors can handle some measure of volatility and risk and this market is resilient. But when there’s deep uncertainty about the direction of the economy, major volatility and profile shifts can occur. That is where we come in and knowing our current shareholder base is key to understanding any challenges or opportunities that may arise.
Corporations have always been under scrutiny, more so now with the nonstop news and vocal activists looking for corporations to do the right thing. In this time of heightened ESG pressures and with the events in Ukraine and the situation of Russia, its unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s been a quick domino effect - within days all the marquee names were getting called out about doing business in Russia: major oil companies, technology, food services and investment banking firms. Then social media called out those who stayed in Russia, and the New York State Comptroller urged companies to review their Russian business. Public perception and future reputation is extremely important in this age of instant news and social media.
Our role for clients is to be their eyes and ears, to guide them through everything we are seeing. That means having an annual cycle of Capital Markets Intelligence, Corporate Governance, Proxy and Activism work, based on our almost fifty years of experience that will help guide our clients through challenges and provide the best shareholder value.
Using the latest technology and platforms will help bring new innovation and quick responses to any shareholder related matters. At the end of the day, my CMI Group will help companies understand who owns their stock, track significant market movements and analyze the implications of ownership changes, with respect to corporate policies and vulnerability to activism. This will be a value-add for all clients.