For every company worldwide, understanding the best course of action at every stage of its growth is critical to its success. To navigate these waters, no matter the phase of your company, the support of a trusted corporate advisor with a deep understanding of every step and potential hurdle can be the difference between the success or failure of your business plan.
Let’s outline three phases of business and how partnering with a corporate advisory firm plays a vital role in determining your company’s success:
NEWLY PUBLIC COMPANY
For a company that has just gone public, laying the groundwork for a corporate governance strategy ensures you will avoid potential pitfalls that can derail your board presentations and slow potential growth. it is important that you assess the continued necessity of pre-IPO governance provisions. and remove any that don’t fit your future goals.
ESG will need to take a focal point. Over the last few years, environmental, social, and government concerns have become a central focus for investors, which means any business practices that are aligned to these criteria must be a focus of your business plan.
With a combination of research and long-standing industry relationships with investor groups, a corporate advisory partner will handle the necessary steps to understand your shareholder profile as it relates to ESG and all corporate decisions. They will perform peer ESG benchmarking to ensure you match your competition’s targets, educate senior management and the board on potential proxy vote issues and key corporate governance priorities and identify areas of improvement for ESG practices.
Your corporate advisory will also engage with institutional investors to solicit feedback on company practices and create an annual meeting coordination team to ensure shareholder meetings run smoothly.
As your business and shareholder base grows, it’s important to stay proactive with your strategy, governance plans, and business targets. Understanding how your shareholders are voting at relative meetings will help you develop a winnable strategy. With that in mind, it’s critical that you plan for and institute the due diligence necessary for continued corporate growth.
Improving ESG disclosures that are of interest to your investors and reporting the key trends to your board are part of that effort. An experienced corporate advisory will take this a step further by expanding institutional outreach to gain broader insights into institutional investor impressions of company practices, track changes in ownership, and engage advisors to review proxy statements from a shareholder/advisory firm perspective. This objective and informed position give you the clearest understanding of your shareholders’ drivers and detractors, which in turn ensure your business strategy will gain the votes you need for progress.
To plan for continued future growth, the focus stays on your shareholders, their concerns, and their proposals. Keeping an ear open to their interests allows you to project vote outcomes prior to annual meetings to alert management and the board of potential challenging votes.
As the world continues to evolve, ESG trends will as well. To be sure you stay compliant and meet the needs and asks of your shareholders, keeping track of emerging changes to ESG targets will allow you to take a leadership role in your industry by incorporating these into company practices.
During your company’s lifecycle, tracking, reporting, and understanding the evolution of your shareholders’ interests as well as emerging or shifting corporate governance concerns give you the insight you need to develop a business strategy that will succeed at your Shareholder and Annual General Meetings.
A corporate advisory partner is a key to that understanding, leveraging their industry relationships with institutional shareholders, understanding potential hurdles based on extensive experience with annual and shareholder meetings, and using research and data modeling to effectively project outcomes. Do your research on corporate advisory firms early in your business lifecycle and stabilize your governance and business processes for the best results in your company’s evolution.