Featured Case Study: Concerned Shareholders of Unique Broad Band Systems
The Concerned Shareholders of Unique Broadband Systems (UBS) were a group of investors, mostly individuals, who came together in response to the extraordinary $22.7 million of executive and director compensation awarded in 2009 at UBS and LOOK Communication in the face of dismal performance and plummeting share values. The Concerned Shareholders of UBS initially hired Kingsdale Shareholder Services to execute an aggressive dissident solicitation campaign. Kingsdale Communications was called in to assist in the fight for the hearts and minds of UBS shareholders. The Concerned Shareholders (dissidents) were at a disadvantage before the campaign even started as 50% +1 of the votes would be required to win, but Management held 24% of the Corporation´s shares. Adept at overcoming tough odds, Kingsdale Shareholder Services and Kingsdale Communications needed to move quickly and decisively to bridge the gap.
Kingsdale Communications created and implemented an aggressive communications strategy designed to build momentum among the largely retail shareholder base. Working closely with the other members of the dissident shareholder team (Kingsdale Shareholder Services and legal resources) hard hitting messaging was developed and conveyed consistently via the dissident circular, press releases, a dedicated website, press articles, one-on-one conversations with shareholders and even a live shareholder conference. With competing messages from Management and their supporters, there was a lot of "noise" competing for shareholders´ attention. Kingsdale Communications ensured that our clients´ messages were resonating with shareholders while Kingsdale Shareholder Services analyzed the shareholder base and executed an effective solicitation campaign that would convert sympathy and support from shareholders in votes for the Concerned Shareholders.
The Concerned Shareholders gained momentum as the proxy contest progressed with strong support and positive media coverage continuing right up to the proxy voting deadline and beyond. In the end, enough shareholders banded together and voted their proxies in support of the Concerned Shareholders of UBS winning going away, with 66% of total votes cast.