In the News
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff will be a speaker at the upcoming The Boston Club and NACD New England Chapter “Boot Camp for Aspiring Public Company Directors.” She will discuss shareholders’ expectations in the current environment of activists, effective ways to interface with shareholders, the role of proxy advisors and the impact of ISS/Glass Lewis. The Boot Camp is designed for individuals who currently sit on large nonprofit boards or private corporate boards and/or are “C-Suite level” who wish to take the next step toward securing a public company board seat.
Senior Vice President Scott Solomon was a panelist at the Publicity Club of New England (PubClub) Masters’ Institute event on “Leading Through Crisis & Change.” The discussion offered insights on how to better lead within organizations when faced with challenging situations, how to build the strongest teams possible and foster a culture in which key players can step up in a crisis, and how to empower clients and colleagues to be leaders within their organizations.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff has been selected as finalist to receive two Stevie Awards for Women in Business in the categories of Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations, and Female Executive of the Year – Business Services –11 to 2,500 Employees. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards and International Business Awards, and are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards. The winners of the gold, silver and bronze categories will be announced on November 17th in New York City.
President David Calusdian presented “Driving Investor Relations Effectiveness Through Competitive Intelligence” at the Boston Chapter of Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals. The presentation focused on how competitive intelligence professionals can be essential partners with the investor relations officer as they seek to provide relevant data to the C-suite and board on the company’s competitors, peers, industry and overall market.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff and President David Calusdian were featured in Boston Voyager Magazine for their leadership in strategic communications and building a team that has excelled in helping companies navigate crises situations, restore credibility, and communicate effectively with various stakeholder groups.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff was quoted in the Boston Business Journal on what shareholders currently expect from public companies’ Boards of Directors and how their expectations have changed over time, in advance of the NACD panel “An Activist on the Doorstep: An Activist on the Board.”
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff was a presenter at the NACD “Aspiring Public Company Director Boot Camp.” She discussed “Shareholder Relations,” including key expectations of shareholders, the impact of ISS/Glass Lewis, interfacing with shareholders, the role of Proxy Advisors and the current environment of shareholder activism.
President David Calusdian participated as an expert panelist at the “Small Cap Summit” at the 2017 NIRI Annual Conference. The panel discussed innovations in small cap IR, including ways to use digital technology to attract investors and the latest strategies to generate sell-side analyst coverage.
President David Calusdian presented a new strategic service called Proxy GamePlan™ at the 2017 NIRI Annual Conference. Proxy GamePlan™ helps clients implement best-in-class, year-round shareholder engagement programs.
Learn more about Proxy GamePlan™.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff presented the topic “Shareholder Relations” at the NACD Director Boot Camp, for experienced directors. She discussed director-shareholder engagement, proxy access and defense strategies for shareholder activism.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff will be a guest lecturer at the Corporate Governance class at Bentley University. She will present on Shareholder Activism and Director/Shareholder Engagement.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff was a panelist at the NACD New England Chapter’s January 2017 Breakfast Event “Hot Topics for the 2017 Annual Shareholder Meeting.” The panel discussed the continued and growing shareholder activism trend, and changes in corporate governance requirements to help directors in their preparation for the proxy season.
President David Calusdian was the featured speaker on the topic of “Corporate Messaging and Crisis Communications” during a class for Georgetown University’s Executive Master’s in Global Strategic Communications.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff moderated the panel “A View from the Top,” as part of the NIRI Senior Roundtable Annual Meeting. The panel discussed the national business environment, activism and shareholder/board engagement, and proxy matters. The panel included board members from Prudential Financial, Sherwin-Williams, Wyndham Worldwide, Oshkosh Corporation and CoBiz Financial.
Chief Executive Officer Maureen Wolff presented at the Board Options, Inc. “Seat at the Table” workshop. These small group workshops are designed to help increase Board of Directors’ leadership and problem solving through the application of practical behavioral science. Maureen presented the case study titled “The Shareholder Activist Comes Calling” and discussed effective strategies to engage with activist shareholders.
President and Partner Maureen Wolff moderated the first day of learning at the National Investor Relations Institute’s Fundamentals of Investor Relations seminar in Boston. This seminar offered a broad overview of all aspects of investor relations, including marketing, communication and finance for individuals starting their careers in investor relations. Maureen also led a discussion on disclosure, including regulatory compliance and external communications. On the second day of the seminar, David Calusdian spoke on Media and Communications.
Executive Vice President and Partner David Calusdian and Senior Vice President Scott Solomon led the National Investor Relations Institute’s Writing Workshop for Investor Relations. David and Scott reviewed the techniques of clear, efficient writing, including developing effective earnings releases, annual letters to stockholders, and conference call scripts. David is currently on the NIRI National Board.
President and Partner Maureen Wolff was a presenter at the Deloitte IPO Boot Camp and offered the module “Preparing to Communicate as a Public Company,” where she discussed regulations and best practices surrounding external communications, including media relations, quarterly materials and employee training.
President and Partner Maureen Wolff was guest speaker at the CEO Resources Forum: “Enhancing Stakeholder Relations.” The Forum, organized by CEO Resources Inc., is a monthly meeting to provide CEOs with a peer environment to discuss key organizational and leadership issues, to develop solutions and action plans to address these issues. As a recognized leader in this topic, Maureen discussed investor relations and crisis communications with the group.
President and Partner Maureen Wolff participated in the webinar “How Shareholder Activism Is Affecting The 2016 Proxy Season.” The webinar was hosted by CommPro.biz, who assembled a panel of shareholder activism experts, all of whom brought extensive experience in advising both large- and small-cap companies on how to prepare for and respond to shareholder activists and the campaigns they may wage. Daniel Burch, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Mackenzie Partners, Inc., and Keith Gottfried, Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius joined Maureen on the panel. The event was moderated by Gene Marbach, contributing editor for CommPro.biz.
The Boston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI Boston) announced its Board of Directors for the 2015-2016 programming year. Sharon Merrill President and Partner Maureen Wolff will serve as Honorary Director, and Senior Associate Jamie Bernard as Co-Chair of the Communications Committee. Maureen will moderate a fireside chat with NIRI President and CEO James Cudahy at the season kick-off meeting on September 28 at the Taj Boston.
Sharon Merrill Associates announced the launch of its newly redesigned website, InvestorRelations.com, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the firm’s founding in 1985. The website reflects our corporate mission, culture and market position, and highlights our expanded set of practice areas. Building on our core expertise in investor relations, Sharon Merrill Associates serves as insightful strategic advisors on crisis and transaction communications, reputation management, and presentation and media training, serving an international client base.
Executive Vice President and Partner David Calusdian moderated a panel discussion at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) national conference entitled, “An Insider’s View: What IR Can Expect from DC.” The panel focused on upcoming regulatory issues, and featured Brian Breheny of Skadden, Arps, and Dara Stuckey, President and CEO of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals. David is currently serving on NIRI’s national board.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Merrill received the 2015 F. Gorham Brigham, Jr. Award from the Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International.
For the past 10 years, the prestigious award has been given to an FEI Boston member who best exemplifies F. Gorham Brigham, Jr.’s exceptional standards in community leadership, personal integrity, commitment to the well-being of others, and dedication to the goals and objectives of FEI through mentoring and volunteerism.
FEI is a globally recognized leading organization that advances the successes of senior-level financial executives, financial organizations, and the financial profession.
Ready, Set… IPO!
President and Partner Maureen Wolff presented at the Deloitte “IPO Boot Camp.” This half-day seminar provided the concise information needed to navigate the corporate governance, accounting, regulatory and communications challenges in preparing for the public markets. Attendees received tips from industry experts who have successfully guided hundreds of companies through the transition from private- to public-company life.
President Maureen Wolff is a featured speaker at NACD New England Chapter’s January 2015 Breakfast Event “Getting Ready For Year End/Proxy Season.” Life as a director feels more like trench warfare and less like corporate governance with each passing year. With growing shareholder activism and a host of new requirements to contend with, 2015 will be no exception. At this event, four panelists widely recognized for their expertise in the fields of law, accounting, corporate governance and investor relations will discuss what directors need to know as we head into the year-end/proxy season. For more information and to register for this event, click here.
President Maureen Wolff and Executive Vice President David Calusdian were featured speakers at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Fundamentals of Investor Relations seminar. Maureen delivered a presentation on “Corporate Disclosure: Issues and Best Practices” and David spoke on media and communications.
David Calusdian and Vice President David Reichman conducted a writing workshop for investor relations professionals. This workshop reviewed important principles and techniques of clear, efficient writing. Through examples and practical exercises, attendees learned to recognize good writing and increase their confidence in developing strategic messages.
Executive Vice President David Calusdian was a featured speaker at the North Shore Technology Council’s seminar titled, “The Challenge of Vocal Shareholders: Investor Relations in the Social Media Age.” The recent high-profile Market Basket struggles and unfolding drama show how challenges with stakeholder relations can lead to amplified activism and trigger a social media downward spiral that gets played out via Facebook pages, Twitter posts, and even viral video anthems.
Vice President Dennis Walsh moderated a NIRI-sponsored webinar on social media strategies for investor relations. Panelists provided insight on how IROs engage the investment community with social media; investors are using social media platforms in their research process; and activist investors are using it to raise awareness about investments and objectives.
President Maureen Wolff and Executive Vice President David Calusdian were featured speakers at the NIRI Annual Conference. The premier global IR education and networking event helps attendees stay relevant with interactive sessions, industry breakouts and insight from today’s thought leaders.
Maureen Wolff moderated a panel discussion titled, “Inside the Shark Tank: Understanding the Activist Agenda.” The threat of activist investors encircling your company can be intimidating – unless you understand how to engage, respond and communicate when they come calling. This unique panel brought together four prominent activist shareholders to go in depth on the common issues that make a company ripe for activism, the triggers that typically spark a proxy fight, and ways to engage once an activist discovers your company.
David Calusdian spoke at a workshop titled, “Make or Break Your Career with a Blowout Analyst Day.” Although everyone knows an analyst is an excellent opportunity to showcase a company’s strategy and management team, a lot of us, no matter how senior, secretly dread the preparation for an upcoming analyst day. At this workshop, attendees learned how best to plan and execute an effective and impactful analyst day.
President Maureen Wolff was a featured panelist discussing “What Emerging Growth Companies Need to Know About Activist Investor Campaigns” at the Growth Capital Expo 2014. This conference brings together investors, bankers, legal counsel and advisers in the late stage private and early stage public capital markets to address current issues and new opportunities in emerging growth company finance. Key discussion topics focused on the institutional capital market for emerging growth financing and the impacts and opportunities in the JOBS Act that are revolutionizing the market for emerging growth company finance.
President Maureen Wolff was selected as one of five new National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Fellows. NIRI Fellows are recognized leaders who represent the ideals of the investor relations profession, and have distinguished themselves on the basis of their integrity, leadership, involvement and contributions to the IR profession throughout their careers.
President Maureen Wolff was a featured panelist at the NYSE Executive Forum’s webcast, “What to Expect in Investor Relations in 2014.” The discussion covered expected trends and best practices in investor relations for 2014. The panelists reviewed the latest practices in allowing Board members to engage with shareholders, dealing with social media, international road shows, identification of your shareholder base and working with activist investors.
Sharon Merrill’s Executive Vice President & Partner David Calusdian was elected to the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) Board of Directors. David will serve a four-year term.
President Maureen Wolff presented at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Fundamentals of Investor Relations seminar. Maureen delivered a presentation on “Corporate Disclosure: Issues and Best Practices.”
President Maureen Wolff served as a panelist for a session on reputation management in the 24/7 media environment and best practices in crisis communication hosted by the Publicity Club of New England (PubClub). The panel covered the essential attributes of an effective crisis communications plan; battles with shareholder activists; using social media in a crisis situation; and creative ideas for managing challenging situations and personalities.
Vice President Dennis Walsh moderated a NIRI Boston panel titled, “Using Social Media to Bridge the Gap between IR & PR.” The session explored why companies must take the necessary steps to ensure all external communications have consistent messaging and are Reg FD compliant. Other panelists included: RJ Jones, IRO for Zillow, Karen Raskopf, CCO at Dunkin’ Brands, and Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4 Websystems.
Vice President Dennis Walsh was quoted in the cover story of IR Magazine’s October issue an article titled “Roadshow Snapshots.” The article offered advice to IROs planning investor roadshows in some of the world’s largest money centers.
President Maureen Wolff and Executive Vice President David Calusdian presented at the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Fundamentals of Investor Relations seminar. Maureen delivered a presentation on “Corporate Disclosure: Issues and Best Practices” and David spoke on media and communications.
David Calusdian and Vice President David Reichman taught a writing workshop for investor relations professionals . This workshop reviewed important principles and techniques of clear, efficient writing. Through examples and practical exercises, attendees learned to recognize good writing and increased their confidence in developing strategic messages.
Vice President & Director of Social Media Dennis Walsh was a featured panelist on a webinar hosted by the NIRI Virtual Chapter on social media for investor relations. Dennis joined representatives from Dell and FedEx in a discussion on developing and implementing successful strategies for using social media as part of an IR outreach plan.
Vice President Dennis Walsh was quoted in the cover story of IR Magazine’s July issue an article titled “The Many and the Few.” The article explored how some public companies cope with managing too much sell-side coverage, while others struggle to attract analyst coverage.
Sharon Merrill received awards for investor relations excellence and industry leadership. The firm received an award from The Publicity Club of New England for an IR program it created for a Fortune 500 client. In addition, President Maureen Wolff and Vice President Dennis Walsh received individual awards for their contributions to the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI).
Vice President & Director of Social Media Dennis Walsh was quoted in the June issue of IR Magazine in an article titled “Disclosure Buzz.” The article explored the potential response from the IR and investment communities to the SEC’s recent guidance on the use of social media for investor relations.
Executive Vice President David Calusdian and Vice President & Director of Social Media Dennis Walsh were featured speakers at the NIRI Annual Conference. The premier global IR education and networking event helps attendees stay relevant with interactive sessions, industry breakouts and insight from today’s thought leaders. David was a panelist for a session on refining corporate messages to reflect the business strategy titled, “Living the Message.” Dennis moderated a workshop on social media for investor relations titled, “Take the Wheel and Drive Your Company’s Social Media Strategy.”
Sharon Merrill and Sullivan & Worcester LLP cohosted a seminar on the use of social media for investor relations. Topics of discussion included securities law issues, trends in the use of social media for investor relations, company perspective on challenges and benefits of using social media, and what companies and IR professionals should do now.
President Maureen Wolff was quoted in the cover story of IR Magazine’s April issue titled, “Guiding Principles.” The article focused on companies issuing financial guidance despite tough economic conditions.
In response to recent growth and to support demand for a broader range of services, Sharon Merrill announced the promotion of Dennis Walsh to vice president and the addition of Andrew Blazier as a senior associate.