Shareholder & Stakeholder Engagement

The expectation for companies to consider the needs of all stakeholders, not just shareholders, has increased dramatically in recent years. That is creating new pressures for boards.

Corporate leaders face new demands from their shareholders and other important stakeholders. RRA helps companies understand key stakeholders and their preferences, calculate the costs and benefits of different response strategies, and – where appropriate – how to arrange productive and valuable engagements.

Criticism of business isn’t new, but today’s leading companies are put under the microscope by a growing number of important outsiders with divergent interests and objectives, demanding change at an extraordinary pace and volume.  And more and more of them are winning, forcing significant changes at companies big and small.

Good relationships with the portfolio managers from your largest active investors are necessary but not sufficient to succeed in this new environment.  Asset managers are hiring and empowering stewardship and governance professionals who now hold sway at those active managers.  Passive investors hold huge and growing portions of public company shares, prioritizing governance and other ESG issues and flexing their significant stakes more assertively than ever.

RRA has developed an unparalleled understanding of the stakeholder landscape by maintaining relationships with leading shareholders and other stakeholders to better identify and anticipate their priorities. As a result, we help board and executive leaders stay ahead of the curve on the issues that matter and avoid spending spare time and energy on the topics that don’t.

That advice is especially important today, as the stakes have never been higher.  Stakeholders are waging complex and effective pressure campaigns against companies on issues related to the environment, their employees, and their communities, leveraging traditional media that is receptive to stories about “bad businesses” and social media that can grievously wound a hard-earned reputation in the blink of an eye.  Meanwhile, shareholders are more assertive than ever before, voting against management in droves at annual meetings – including in proxy contests that threaten the control and direction of the company.

RRA counsels its board and CEO clients on what are the governance trends that investors care most about. We help boards and CEOs understand investor and other key stakeholder expectations around governance trends such as board composition and the board's role around sustainability, human capital management, and oversight of diversity. We have helped the board and management team prepare for meetings with key stakeholder groups.

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