Computershare – Committed To Service Excellence
An interview with Jay McHale, President, US Equity Services, Computershare
Jay McHale joined Computershare as President of US Equity Services in August 2007. In an interview with the Optimizer in November 2007, Jay indicated his goal was to grow the business by providing outstanding service to issuers and their shareholders.
Looking back over the past year, how would you rate your success?
At Computershare, we measure success through client satisfaction, client retention and growth. Excellent shareholder service, along with the delivery of several new and enhanced products, has contributed to steady increases in client satisfaction with Computershare. Client retention and loyalty has been very strong.
As you know, we have a phenomenal client roster, including 60% of the Dow 30 and 45% of the Fortune 100, which means we service some of the most demanding clients in the industry. By meeting the demands of these top clients, we have raised the level of service we provide to every client. We’re pleased that when our clients are required to go through the RFP process, due diligence proves Computershare to be the best choice.
Has shareholder satisfaction with Computershare been as strong as client satisfaction?
Throughout 2008, shareholder satisfaction with Computershare services has not only been higher than industry average but has also continued to increase. We’re performing at historically high levels on key service measures. In fact, in the Q2 2008 Optimizer review of tax season shareholder servicing performance, our customer service representatives and our systems were noted for their superior service and responsiveness.
Are there some key quality initiatives that have contributed to the high levels of customer satisfaction?
We have established a permanent infrastructure for continuous quality improvement. Most importantly, we listen very closely to our clients and shareholders, through surveys, daily client interactions, and open communication with our Client Advisory Board. We have also implemented a Lean Six Sigma program, established dedicated resources to drive service improvement – such as our Business Solutions Group and quality monitoring teams – and invested in the latest technology, such as our state-of-the-art call quality monitoring system. This focus on service excellence and our product management approach have been key drivers of customer satisfaction.
Can you provide some more information on your product management approach?
We’re committed to providing unique, end-to-end solutions to our clients. This includes increasing the products and services options that our issuers can offer their shareholders, as well as providing alternatives that allow issuers to create custom programs that are aligned with and support their corporate goals.
Over the past year, Computershare has successfully rolled-out an expanded ProxyAccess solution to take advantage of the new e-proxy rules, an international currency exchange option which allows shareholders to receive dividends and sales proceeds in over 75 different currencies, and an expanded market order plan sales option for registered holders. We are also leveraging our enterprise capabilities, working with other Computershare businesses. For example, we’ve pioneered a Shareholder Cleanup service in cooperation with Georgeson.
What is your primary focus for the next twelve months?
Listening to our clients, our focus has to be on supporting issuers’ needs during this difficult economic period. That means helping issuers control costs, as well as assisting them in raising or retaining capital, where possible. At the same time, we will continue to focus on providing excellent service and enhancing our already unmatched product suite. In our opinion, the market volatility had made high quality shareholder service more important than ever.
What solutions do you have that will help clients control costs?
Issuer costs include much more than their transfer agent fees. In fact, for most issuers, the transfer agent fees are only a small percentage of their overall IR budget, with the bulk of their spend related to printing, postage and annual meetings. We can help our issuers reduce expenses across their budget.
For issuers with dividend reinvestment plans, Computershare will work with clients to optimize the structure of their plan. We can also work with issuers on campaigns to reduce cost related to managing their register midterm and long-term, through odd-lot and Post Merger CleanUp™ programs. We can help issuers reduce printing and postage costs through Computershare’s eTree® program and the electronic delivery of shareholder materials, which is environmentally friendly and enhances an issuer’s corporate social responsibility profile. Our Proxy Access solution allows issuers to take advantage of the new proxy rules and significantly reduce the printing and postage costs related to annual meeting materials.
What solutions do you have that will allow clients to retain or raise capital?
Computershare can help issuers raise or retain capital through their dividend and dividend reinvestment plan options. Issuers can explore using stock dividends in place of cash dividends. Issuers can raise capital by switching from an open market plan to a treasury based plan, by switching to a direct stock purchase plan from a traditional reinvestment plan, or through implementing waiver plans. We understand that different companies face different challenges and are prepared to help create a unique strategy that works for each of our issuers.
Last year you said your goal for Computershare’s registry business is that your customers become your best source of referrals. Where are you with that?
Our recommendation rate is now at four out of five clients. We’ll only be satisfied when it’s five out of five, and it stays that way.
Any closing thoughts for our readers?
At Computershare, it is our mission to be the premier company and provider of choice in the industries we serve, delivering best-in-class service to the marketplace and creating unique, endto- end solutions.
If an issuer hasn’t talked to us lately, they don’t know what they’re missing. Let us help design a custom solution for you. Come tour our operations and communications center. We are confident you will be impressed.
To learn more and find out how Computershare's best-in-class transfer agent solutions can support your company's objectives, contact us today at 888 404 6333 or visit www.computershare-na.com/upclose