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Computershare: Earning Its Clients’ Business Everyday 

An Interview With Jay McHale, President, US Equity Services, Computershare

Every year around this time, The Optimizer interviews Jay McHale, the President of Computershare US Equity Services, about what has been going on at Computershare and what clients can expect in the future.

Let’s get right to it:

How is the migration of the BNY Mellon Shareowner Services clients to the legacy Computershare platform going?

Extremely well and we remain on target with six months to go.

I recognize this acquisition involves the largest client migration in Computershare’s history. In fact, it’s the largest in our industry. That’s why we put together a team dedicated solely to the business integration and client migration. The core of this team is a group of people from around the world who have been responsible for more than a dozen acquisitions with millions of shareholders migrated.

The acquisition experience under our belts has allowed us to learn from both the negatives and positives of the process, especially during Computershare’s acquisition of Equiserve and the merger of Bank of New York and Mellon. We understand the impact of the system migrations on issuers and shareholders so our people work very closely with clients to ensure good communication and consistent service.

It’s been important for us to keep our clients happy during the migration so we’ve been really pleased with the positive feedback clients have provided about the migration process – and our service overall. Our clients are the reason we’re in business and we have a deep appreciation for that.

How have you been able to continue to achieve great service ratings during Computershare’s growth?

We achieved this the same way we’ve been improving quality and ratings every year: By  listening  closely  to our clients as well as the shareholders and employees we service on their behalf.

We want to be easy to work with so client and shareholder feedback is vital. We take advantage of a lot of communication channels to get this information, including surveys, advisory boards, focus groups, and detailed analysis of day-to-day interaction.

It requires an extra level of attention to deliver consistent high quality service and maintain customer-focus during any integration, as well as to help people, internally and externally, adjust to all the changes.

Overall, I’m happy to say the feedback from clients and shareholders has been great, including strong ratings on this year’s industry surveys, on multiple service evaluations conducted by independent research firms throughout the year, and across thousands of shareholder survey responses.

What has been your recent focus?

First and foremost, we’ve been working closely with all our clients, staying on top of regulatory changes such as Proxy Rule 14a4 and FATCA, responding to challenges related to super storm Sandy, getting to know our new clients, and helping issuers meet their corporate shareholder and equity share plans objectives.

We’ve also kept a strong focus on day-to-day service and maintaining “business-as-usual” for our clients while the integration progresses. And we continue to stay connected with clients. We have an incredibly diverse client base -- from different industries, of different sizes, and with different needs – and I truly enjoy connecting with the talented people at our client companies and sharing ideas. This connection is critical. We’ve been communicating regularly with all clients about the progress of the integration in general as well as more specifically with individual clients as they migrate to Computershare’s proprietary systems.

Where is Computershare with the integration of the two organizations?

We’re almost completely integrated at this point. Our human resources and integration teams have done a phenomenal job supporting staff through all the changes.

Organizationally, all of our internal support services, such as legal, human resources, marketing and finance, have been integrated for several months now.

Operationally, Frank Madonna is managing the  day-to- day transfer agent and share plans operations while Joe Spadaford is focused on strategic operations across all of Computershare’s US businesses. We’ve developed a site strategy and are bringing together the service teams while continuing to support two systems and service models.

On the client side, I will be managing the transfer agent and corporate actions businesses while Kevin Brennan, whom many people know from his senior leadership roles within the industry, will lead our US employee share plans business, including stock purchase plans, stock option administration, restricted stock and other services.

We’re excited about the potential and thrilled to have Kevin and Frank join the senior management team.

What are some of the advantages of the acquisition to your clients?

The biggest advantage is our people. We have the largest, most experienced team of experts servicing our clients, leveraging the combined talent of two major service organizations. In addition, we’re adopting best practices across the combined organization to improve service to all clients, not just the former BNY Mellon Shareowner Services clients.

We have deep knowledge of compliance, legal, regulatory and all the critical areas that clients rely on us to understand for them, which is particularly helpful for micro-cap companies and IPOs. Of course, those clients that have been migrated or will be migrating will benefit from our proprietary systems and advanced technology, as well as our integrated Computershare Communication Services. Plus, once they have converted to our systems, they’ll have access to Computershare’s unmatched suite of integrated products. Legacy Computershare clients are particularly excited about our expanded equity compensation services.

What can clients look forward to in the future?

Clients can look forward to Computershare helping them meet their key objectives, whatever those may be. We continuously enhance our products and services to meet changing needs and Computershare maintains an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is quite unique. Our relationship management teams have a deep understanding of their clients’ business and we look to proactively identify solutions to meet and exceed clients’ goals.

While clients can expect Computershare to remain focused on delivering high quality service and exceptional value, we also want it to be easy for our clients to work with Computershare. So a lot of our feedback mechanisms and product development will be tied to that goal and we’re exploring new service models and options to meet changing demands.

Most importantly, clients can be certain that we will work hard every day to earn their business. I’ve said this many times before in the Optimizer, we want every one of our clients to actively recommend our services to their peers. Right now, 9 out of 10 clients will recommend our services and we’ll keep working hard to until it is 10 out of 10. Then we’ll work twice as hard to keep it there.

Jay McHale can be reached at jay.mchale@computershare.com or 781-575-2223.