Corporate Contests

Shareholder Engagement and Corporate Defense Investigations

Seasoned guidance and tactical research to hone and execute your engagement strategy

Forward Risk was established to provide shareholders, corporations, and their outside counsel with the resources of a proactive investigative team that is qualified to add to the room, collaborating with our clients to offer guidance and strategic solutions with the singular objective of achieving a successful engagement. As seasoned investigative partners, Forward Risk is dedicated to not only accomplishing our clients’ research objectives, but to conducting ethical, strategic investigations which bolster our clients’ position as sophisticated, responsible actors in the eyes of stakeholders.

Whether vetting prospective board nominees, investigating incumbents, or examining the performance record of the other side, Forward Risk commits time and expertise at the beginning of each engagement in collaboration with clients to design focused, ethical investigations that position our clients for success.

Doing our Homework

Forward Risk begins every engagement in the same way – learning about the parties involved, their businesses, their experiences and tactics in past proxy situations, and then speaking with the client about the state of the conversation. Our job is to be an informed actor, and to assist in designing how our investigation will advance our client’s engagement strategy, both in respect to what information is sought, how it is obtained, and how it is presented.

Crafting the Narrative

The norms of shareholder engagement are not static. Values shift, and with them evolve the lines of effective argumentation. Tactics that were en vogue for decades now backfire or have gone stale. Our investigative experience allows Forward Risk to keep our finger on the pulse, and we are committed to helping our clients craft original, creative narratives to advance our client’s position. At minimum, our team is trained to identify:

  • Guidance misses and embellished rhetoric
  • Corporate governance history and issues
  • Self-dealing and conflicts of interest
  • De facto voting tandems and independence issues
  • Experience and performance history
  • Outside interests, obligations, or relationships
  • Personal misconduct and controversial statements
  • Disqualifiers such as litigation or debtor history

But our value add is taking the next step. Corporate contests are decided in the courtrooms of stakeholder opinion. It is often not enough to simply gather the facts when vetting board candidates or incumbents. Rather, Forward Risk takes those fact patterns and helps our clients present winning narratives that will resonate with the room. Forward Risk is not afraid to add our expertise to the conversation. It is our competitive advantage.

Our clients win…

Because Forward Risk has been on both sides of the room. Our professionals know the playbook, the vulnerabilities and nuances of each strategy, and are proactive in ensuring that our clients are always on the offensive and prepared to rebut the assertions of the other side. Our clients call us because we know the stakes, and we do not put our pencils down until we ensure that our clients are equipped for a successful engagement.

Forward Risk is not a passive agent or an assembly line. Our commitment is to do our homework, ask the right questions, and collaborate to design and execute a research and engagement strategy that will resonate with the key stakeholders– whether they are shareholders, management, employees, or the communities where our clients live and work.

Contact a Partner

To find out more about how Forward Risk can help you, please contact Brendan Foo.