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Transforming Shareholder Engagement
An Interview With Joseph Caruso

JOE, IT’S BEEN A FEW YEARS SINCE OUR LAST INTERVIEW WITH YOU. CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON HOW THINGS ARE GOING AT ALLIANCE ADVISORS?

Best-in-class customer service and product innovation have always been the hallmark of the Alliance Advisors’ customer experience since we started as a business in 2010.

The company is doing especially well as we focus on new and better products and a commitment to improve our services to our new and existing clients. Our new company slogan – “Going Beyond To Achieve Your Goals” – encapsulates our focus on bringing meticulous customer service to clients and the unwavering pursuit of product innovation Alliance Advisors now offers clients the most comprehensive and user-friendly 360-degree approach to shareholder engagement of any company in the market…. and our recent client growth reflects this.

TALK ABOUT ALLIANCE ADVISOR’S CUSTOMER GROWTH AND EXPANSION OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.

In 2022, we served nearly 900 US and multi-national companies and in 2023 we worked with over 1,200 companies. We are predicting to have over 1,400 clients in 2024, so you can see that our growth trajectory is among the best in the industry.

Our client growth reflects our focus on our geographical expansion. We now have offices and ‘boots on the ground’ in six markets including the United States, Canada, London, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Korea, with plans to open an office in Tel Aviv in the near future. We completed 120 international assignments across 14 countries in 2023.

We also have a state-of-the art virtual call center that allows for limitless expansion and shareholder contact.

Because of our focus on expansion, we engaged with over 4 million retail investors in the past 12 months through various communication methods including phone calls, text messaging, social media engagement and a unique direct mail operation.

One of the things I am most proud of is that nearly 50% of our new customers come to Alliance Advisors through referrals. That, coupled with our 99.9% customer retention rate, illustrates our clients’ belief in our service – which is second to none.

What differentiates Alliance Advisors from others in the industry is the quality and reliability of the data we provide to our clients, our 24/7 customer service model and our proactive customer communication approach.

WHAT ARE THE CORE SERVICES THAT ALLIANCE ADVISORS PROVIDES TO CLIENTS?

Alliance Advisors continues to be a leader in offering Shareholder Meeting Advisory, off season Shareholder Engagement, Compensation, Governance & ESG advisory, Stock ID and Proxy Logistics.

Alliance Advisors has a leading compensation consultancy team that works closely with outside compensation consultants, company CFOs and management, which underscores our comprehensive approach to meeting each client’s unique needs. Compensation plans are now heavily influenced by ESG scores and we provide gap analysis between company actions and investor expectations, while focusing on execution of the plan to get the vote.

On the ESG front, our experts are fully up-to-date on the ever-changing disclosure requirements and we work with each of our customers on a very granular level to identify the policies that apply to their business – and those that don’t – and how best to disclose them in the proxy statement.

TELL US ABOUT ALLIANCE ADVISORS’ RECENT ACQUISITION OF LHA ADVISORS AND WHAT THIS MEANS TO CLIENTS.

Alliance Advisors entered the investor relations business in a major way with the acquisition of New York-based LHA Advisors in Q3 of 2023. This important addition complements our existing services and provides a 360-degree view of shareholder engagement, particularly when engaging with portfolio managers and the buy side… versus folks on the stewardship side. There has always been a major gap for most companies trying to engage with their unique shareholder bases; the acquisition of LHA makes Alliance the only company offering this fully integrated service to close that gap.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS IR COMPONENT FOR CLIENTS AND HOW ARE YOU DELIVERING THIS SERVICE?

Our proprietary Invictus platform was developed in-house at Alliance Advisors to allow clients to access a single platform to see the full results of their investor relations engagement efforts in real-time.

No other firm except Alliance Advisors can provide clients with data to measure if IR shareholder engagement is actually working. This is where the “rubber meets the road.” The Invictus platform provides companies with a real-time scorecard on the efficacy of their IR effort. You will know within two weeks if the IR campaign is working – or not – and we work with our clients to re-adjust their campaigns accordingly.

Invictus was introduced as the only comprehensive system that interconnects the shareholder ecosystem, providing clients with access to data on roadshow results, stock buying and selling, and voting information. This is a real game-changer.

HOW DOES THIS PLATFORM WORK?

Invictus was developed in-house by Alliance Advisors to “Smash the Black Box” around proxy solicitation management and shareholder ownership insights. Through a customized digital portal, Invictus brings our clients inside the action by providing on-demand access to:

  • Deep Ownership Insight & Peer Group Analysis
  • Complete Digital Management of your Annual/ Special Meetings
  • Comprehensive, Real-time Vote Reporting
  • Historical Voting Actions and Outcomes.

Share ownership movement and proxy solicitation functions have been opaque for too long. Invictus changes the game by providing full transparency of critical shareholder data in a modern digital framework. With three distinct customer modules, Invictus simplifies access to institutional investor activity, facilitates intelligent IR decision-making, and streamlines the management of Annual and Special meetings.

JOE, THE FUTURE SEEMS VERY BRIGHT FOR ALLIANCE ADVISORS – DO YOU HAVE ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

There has been a serious lack of innovation in the proxy solicitation and corporate consulting industries for decades.

One of our top priorities at Alliance Advisors is to bring meaningful innovation to the industry; innovation that helps our clients get a deeper understanding of their investors and the issues that the corporations face. Ultimately, we are in the problem-solving business – and we want to be the best at what we do – and I believe we are.

With our pursuit of innovation, coupled with our ongoing commitment to customer service, dedicated market expansion, strategic customer acquisition and product development, Alliance Advisors is well-positioned for continued market share growth as we bring our innovative solutions to market to better serve our clients.

We welcome you to reach out to our team for a demonstration of the Invictus platform and to learn more about how Alliance Advisors can save you time and money and improve your shareholder engagement efforts.

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