Computershare: Full Service Under One Roof
An Interview With Jay McHale, President, US Equity Services, Computershare
With transfer agency as its core business, Computershare has built a suite of complementary products and services that can enhance a company’s equity services management at any point in its corporate lifecycle. Jay McHale has led Computershare’s equity services division since 2007. Here he shares his thoughts on the past year and what’s to come in 2011.
Transfer agency is Computershare’s core business. How does that enable you to provide full-spectrum equity services?
Because transfer agency is the center of our business – as opposed to an ancillary service – we are able to truly understand the equity service needs of our clients, from the early planning of an IPO through to corporate maturity and every step in between. Issuer services are the primary driver of our business and we invest heavily in developing solutions that meet the needs of issuers and their shareholders.
I firmly believe that we go far beyond other transfer agents in the array of equity service solutions we offer, across the entire corporate lifecycle. Our goal is to be easy to do business with – and through Computershare, and Computershare companies such as Georgeson and KCC – we make it easy for our clients to meet all of their equity services needs through a unified, industry-leading provider.
A few recent developments include a virtual meeting solution for annual meetings, interactive “transfer wizard” and “virtual agent” features on our Investor CentreTM shareholder website, and new compliance solutions for our employee equity plan clients. In addition, we’re currently piloting a new annual meeting management solution for issuers, which coordinates services and vendors across both registered and street holders, all through a single point of contact at Georgeson.
What is the product development process that supports this full-service offering?
We actively reach out and listen to our clients to identify the issues and challenges they face, and then we work to create solutions. Computershare continually invests in new services based on our clients’ needs, ranging from packaged offerings of essential transfer agent and annual meeting services, to solutions for complex corporate actions, and to advanced proxy solicitation and corporate governance consulting through Georgeson. And our philosophy of in-sourcing core business processes – including call centers, transaction processing and print/mail – gives us tighter control over service quality and data security.
What do your clients say about your service approach?
Looking at the latest data, two things are clear: First, our clients are extremely satisfied with the quality of service they receive; and second, as a company, Computershare continues to improve in client service.
Just recently, Group Five Inc. published its annual survey of transfer agent customer satisfaction. Issuer satisfaction with Computershare was consistently above 90% in several major categories – including industry-best rankings for annual meeting services, technology investment and accuracy of work – and overall client satisfaction reached 90%. While we take pride in these numbers, we continue to strive for improvement.
Just as important, our levels for shareholder satisfaction remain the best in the industry. Computershare received a 90% favorable rating for telephone service, and 92% favorable rating for transaction services, according to recent independent surveys of shareholders also conducted by Group Five Inc.
There has been a great deal of regulatory activity this year. How has Computershare adapted to the changes, and what role has Computershare played?
We are an advocate for our clients and their shareholders. As the industry leaderinequityservices, Computershare stays ahead of the curve on any regulatory action that will affect our clients and their shareholders, and we leverage our industry expertise and strength to advocate for policies that benefit them.
In addition to meeting with regulators and providing them feedback, we’ve kept our clients informed about the myriad changes and proposed changes that we’ve seen over the past year – including cost basis reporting, 6039 compliance, proxy access, proxy reform and the corporate governance elements of the Dodd-Frank legislation.
We have been quick to implement the system modify necessary to support the new requirements, including the massive changes needed to support cost basis reporting and the capability to handle the four-choice voting structure for “say-when-on-pay.” Our proprietary, industry-leading technology and expert staff have been a huge advantage for our clients during this turbulent period.
Any closing thoughts you’d like to share?
Computershare really has something unique to offer – an unmatched product suite, high-quality issuer and shareholder service, a deep pool of experienced talent, the best technology in the industry, global resources – and our core business is equity services.
As a result, we continuously develop new, innovative products that make equity management easier for our clients and allow them to focus more time and energy on their core business – whatever that may be.
To learn more and fi out how Computershare’s best-in- class equity solutions can support your company’s objectives, contact us today at: 888-404-6333 or visit www.computershare.com