Activist investors, including hedge funds and other holders of large pools of capital, are playing a more significant role in the financial markets than ever before. Okapi Partners has been on the forefront of offering advice and execution for clients in some of the most successful activists campaigns in history. We understand how to work seamlessly with portfolio managers, analysts, public relations, legal and banking counsel to ensure an efficient and effective outcome for each campaign.
Our Proxy Solicitation teams begin each assignment for our clients with a strategic review. We initiate a comprehensive overview of the relevant investor base as well as review the pertinent issues involved in each specific solicitation. Understanding the landscape allows us to effectively plan and execute a strategy tailored to our client’s specific needs. We provide advice on messaging and presentation. Sometimes having the “right message” is not enough: the message must be presented properly and follow-up must occur at the right time. Our approach enables us to minimize the possibility of unwanted surprises while optimizing voting results.
We provide guidance on how to deal with the institutional proxy voting advisory firms (including ISS and Glass Lewis), as well as other institutions. We can coordinate all mailings to shareholders as well as initiate phone campaigns with retail investors, if necessary. And, we help our clients get the maximum benefit from electronic communications and telephonic voting.
An in-depth understanding of the various constituents that comprise the shareholder base is critical to a successful solicitation in a contested situation. Understanding the different concerns of shareholders – including traditional institutional investors like mutual funds and pension funds, hedge funds, arbitrage firms and retail investors – is essential when executing any communications and solicitation campaign. We work with our clients as well as their legal, financial, public relations and investment banking advisors to craft and implement a strategy designed to maximize results.
Corporate and board accountability is demanded by investors now more than ever. Board structure and compensation-related proposals, including “just vote no” campaigns and “say on pay” initiatives, are just a few examples of the potential hot button issues to be navigated. We help clients address these issues and guide them through the minefield that is an ever-changing regulatory environment. Through modeling and analysis of vote projection scenarios, we assist clients in planning and executing strategy for successful solicitations.
Any corporate action, including an acquisition-related tender, an exchange offer, a self-tender or Dutch auction, a rights offer, a spin-off or another shareholder election, requires proper planning and communication to ensure optimal results. Our management has worked on some of the most complicated transactions executed over the past decade. We draw upon our expansive experience to help clients plan effective campaigns. We work with clients every step of the way from the initial campaign planning and drafting of documents, to the distribution to holders and communicating with them. Our call centers assure that retail investors will have a readily available resource to answer questions while ensuring that our client’s phone lines are not inundated with calls. We identify trading trends during the offer period and, in addition to reporting what is happening, we will project what is likely to transpire at expiration.