How Wealth Managers Can Adapt to the Paradigm Shift in Investor Communications

Sherry Moreland is President and Chief Operating Officer of Mediant, which provides investor communications solutions for banks, brokers, corporate issuers and funds that are backed by leading-edge technology and strict compliance with industry regulations. .


russian prince: Who is Mediant?

Sherry Moreland: Mediant is spearheading the digital transformation of communication with investors. We are a leading provider of investor communications technology and technology solutions for banks, broker-dealers, corporate issuers and funds.

Our solutions are built on state-of-the-art technology and strict compliance with industry regulations, enabling customers to balance innovation with requirements. We enable banks and brokers to effectively manage all potential touchpoints in the lifecycle of investor communications, from proxy statements and prospectuses to voluntary corporate actions. We provide corporate issuers with turnkey proxy processing and we give mutual funds, REITs and insurance companies complete, end-to-end proxy solutions.


Prince: How are current industry trends impacting advisors, brokers and investors?

More land: There has been a fundamental shift within the industry over the past few years. The number of younger, more diverse investors accustomed to all things digital has increased, resulting in a paradigm shift.

For example, a passive “audience” experience has now become an active “user/consumer” exchange. Communications between issuers and investors, and advisors and their clients, have become increasingly interactive through mobile apps and social media. Instead of yesterday’s passive investors receiving information only by mail, today’s investors have the power to control, choose, define and comment on information and communications, in real time. As we’ve seen with the rise of ESG/impact investing, investors today want to make a positive difference in the country, and the world, through their investments, and they want to know that the companies in which they invest share their values.

In addition, mono-media has evolved into omni-media. Paper-based communication persists in the proxy industry, for reasons of tradition, familiarity, and beliefs about best practices. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that digital communication can be more effective in engaging shareholders, especially when issuers and brokers adopt multiple media channels and platforms. Omni-media means giving shareholders the information they want, when they want it, on their preferred device. In other words, the investor communications industry must be able to engage investors where, when and how they want.

Additionally, periodic, non-real-time communication has become continuous and real-time. Issuers and brokers who limit communication to traditional documents, whether on paper or by email, will increasingly be ignored by today’s shareholders.

In a recent Mediant survey of public companies examining the evolving nature of retail investor engagement, having ongoing communication with shareholders throughout the year was by far the biggest engagement challenge. They are used to live interactions and constant 24/7 availability. Technology makes continuous, real-time communications easier, more flexible and more affordable.

Additionally, some large retail brokerage firms have ended their discretionary voting practices, making it more difficult for issuers to achieve the quorum required for formal shareholder meetings and actions to take place. This means that brokers can no longer vote on behalf of shareholders for auditor ratification and other routine matters. And, this change now affects issuers, as they must find ways to engage their shareholders to ensure they vote, as well as pressure brokers to educate their clients about the voting process and the need to vote.


Prince: Tell me about the new product you are launching for investment managers.

More land: At Mediant, we are constantly innovating breakthrough technologies to strengthen our end-to-end investor communications ecosystem.

We recently launched our MIC Wealth Manager platform, which we have developed to enable investment managers to streamline the management of proxy voting, shareholder communications and elections to online corporate actions. Manual processes, repetitive workflows, logging into multiple applications, and monitoring urgent events eat up the time investment managers have to spend with clients. We created MIC Wealth Manager to remove these barriers and improve the investor communication experience for both investment managers and their clients.

The platform is fully integrated with Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass-Lewis and other proxy advisory firms. Managers with voting power can save time by voting for multiple accounts through a single ballot, and managers can receive automated proxy voting reports with real-time data.

So far, hundreds of US investment managers are using the MIC Wealth Manager platform.

Within the ecosystem, managers can view an inventory of all communications distributed and the accounts that received them. They can also easily search for an account to review the documents received before speaking with the customer. Additionally, MIC Wealth Manager helps managers take care of their clients by proactively alerting them to voting deadlines and upcoming meetings. Additionally, MIC ReOrg Manager, which is integrated with MIC Wealth Manager, automates the capture of corporate actions and allows advisors to easily manage offers.

Mediant has the only integrated technology platform covering the entire shareholder communication process. This allows us to easily address pain points in the process for investment managers, as well as banks, brokers, issuers and funds. MIC Wealth Manager is a communication ecosystem creating opportunities for managers to more easily act on real-time information, dramatically increasing engagement while reducing time and costs.


Russ Alan Prince is the Executive Director of Private heritage magazine and one of the leading authorities on the private wealth management industry. He consults family offices, quick-and-rich entrepreneurs and selected professionals. Connect with him on LinkedIn.com.

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Dolores W. Simon