PR Newswire – Vintage Filings had true success (in my opinion) at last week’s Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals National Conference held in Washington DC. Although our products and services are not exactly corporate governance based, we had many conversations with clients and prospects on the points that do cross over:
- XBRL: Several clients complimented us on our client service (essential with Detailed Footnote Tagging) and our “no nickel and diming” fee structure
- EDGAR filing: Service and speed was the reoccurring comment theme
- Newswire: “…have used you for years and we would never switch”
- Re-balancing IR: Our NIRI message carried over perfectly to this audience, ESPECIALLY to small-cap companies. One prospect became very animated when I “evangelized” our method for reducing their compliance spend and they should channel those funds into growth outreach and investor relations. They currently did not even HAVE an IR website in their budget. They do now! (insert shameless Capital Markets Visibility 365 plug here)
Overall, this conference is a 30,000’ feet leadership discussion event. Coincidently, I attended most of the seminars discussed in this Davis Polk blog. Worth a read for sure.
Here is their paragraph on my favorite topic:
“Shareholder Engagement. BlackRock’s willingness to devote 20 people to their engagement effort on a global basis is due in part to its inability to merely walk away from a vast majority of its investments that are made on an indexed basis. The firm talks to companies privately when they perceive issues, and expect directors to be available for discussions when there are significant say-on-pay problems. They recommend that off-season engagement focus primarily on the effectiveness of company boards, with executive pay being only a part, but not the key point, of the discussion. Engagement this year has increased exponentially, CalSTRS indicated, while the AFL-CIO announced that over half of the shareholder proposals it submits are withdrawn after negotiations with companies. One example of the divide between companies and proponents appears in the wide ranging views of which information should be captured when companies decide to adopt a policy to disclose political spending.”
Have a great day.