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'Connect The Marketplace:' Say Technologies Delivers An Interactive Corporate Engagement Tool

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'Connect The Marketplace:' Say Technologies Delivers An Interactive Corporate Engagement Tool

Say Technologies, a shareholder communications provider, recently integrated its platform with Fidelity. CEO Laurent Paulhac, alongside Senior Product Manager Alex Ermenidis, spoke with Benzinga regarding Say’s integration with brokerage providers and expansion of product suite.

What Is It?

Say Technologies is a full-service proxy processing solution that allows investors the ability to better impact matters of corporate governance.

“The main mission of what we do is delivering a communication mechanism for investors and issuers,” said Paulhac.

The firm’s core offering includes proxy voting services to broker dealers; “Our API allows [brokerage] users to participate in events organized by Say.”

Recent Developments

On Jan. 29, Say Technologies facilitated the answering of earnings call questions for Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA). During the call, retail investors asked 343 questions while institutions asked 42 questions.

“About 30% of Tesla’s overall market cap was plugged into our platform,” said Paulhac.

The development came as part of an integration with Fidelity; Fidelity and Say announced a partnership earlier in January regarding accessibility of Say’s Q&A platform in the Fidelity Mobile app.

Next Steps

According to Paulhac and Ermenidis, the traditional world of corporate governance in the U.S. equities market is underdeveloped and wrongly viewed as a compliance-only oriented function.

“We are making this whole process much more transparent, modern and digital,” Paulhac said.

“Next step for us would be to integrate with E-Trade, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, Interactive Brokers, and so on.”

Additionally, Say is expanding its product portfolio to include other securities; “As we disrupt the proxy world, we’ll extend this communication mechanism -- between investors and corporations -- to the ETF world,” said Paulhac.

According to Ermenidis and Paulhac, a massive movement to passive investing has taken place, but not much attention has been placed on investor engagement.

“Investors care a lot about how the ETF managers vote around big issues, whether it’s gun control, climate, gender, executive compensation, facial recognition and whatever the story is,” Paulhac said.

Soon ETF investors will have the ability to state their preferences on important topics; Say added to its team leaders in the space, like founder and executive at BlackRock Inc.'s (NYSE: BLK) iShares business, Jennifer Grancio, in order to expand its ETF and mutual fund capabilities.

 

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