Sodali + Morrow = Global Powerhouse

It was already known that consolidation among U.S. proxy solicitors had to happen, and that Morrow & Co. was particularly vulnerable to acquisition, but the announcement in May that Sodali and Morrow would merge was truly momentous.  Here you have a major player everywhere except the U.S. joining forces with a long-standing household name in the U.S. , to create the largest independent provider of proxy solicitation, investor relations and corporate governance advisory services in the world.  The venerability of the 40+ year-old Morrow brand (emanating from Joe Morrow) logically placed it first in the new firm’s name:  Morrow Sodali Global, LLC.

The scope of the new organization is vast, with over 600 corporate clients in 30 countries (including mutual funds and even stock exchanges), having an aggregate market capitalization in the trillions of dollars.  The company will advise on shareholder meetings (especially contentious ones), solicit proxies, provide corporate governance consulting, offer strategic communications, and help with IPOs and corporate actions.  The firm’s Chairman will be John Wilcox, previously Chairman of Sodali Inc., SVP and Head of Corporate Governance at TIAA-CREF and Chairman of Georgeson & Co.  The firm’s CEO will be Alvise Recchi, a founding partner at Sodali Inc. and before that CEO of GSC Proxitalia, an international partnership with Georgeson.  We gather all current Morrow & Co. management and staff will remain in place, given the absence of market overlap with Sodali.  Morrow Sodali will have dual headquarters in New York and London.

Other major U.S. firms that will now compete with Morrow Sodali include Georgeson (owned by Computershare), D.F. King (now part of American Stock Transfer), MacKenzie Partners, Alliance Advisors, Okapi Partners, Laurel Hill, Innisfree and Proxy Advisory Group.  By the look of Morrow Sodali they will all face a noticeably tougher new business, and business retention, challenge.