NEW YORK: The Investor Stewardship Group, a recently launched coalition of asset managers and owners with more than $18 trillion in assets under management, has enlisted the services of Water & Wall Group for communications support.
The organization’s goal is to create a baseline of investor stewardship and corporate governance principles for companies listed in the U.S. It includes BlackRock, Vanguard, CalSTRS, and others. Since launch, the Investor Stewardship Group has added 10 members to its roster, with about a dozen more waiting for approval.
Water & Wall created a logo and website for the Investor Stewardship Group, and continues working on media relations. The organization announced its launch with an advance exclusive in The Wall Street Journal’s online and print editions, leading with the group’s "push for a ban on dual-class shares."
Water & Wall cofounder Scott Sunshine said the group is targeting audiences including the "top-tier business community" and shareholders at large. Entering the second phase of work post-launch, the agency plans to ramp up its influencer marketing efforts by reaching out to law firms and law schools, or "folks who are influential within the governance space who have an online presence," said agency cofounder Andrew Healy. The agency will also rely on content marketing, with the group’s website serving as the hub, and social media.
Water & Wall began work on the account at the start of December after winning the business against shops including a solo practitioner and a top financial communications firm. Financial details of the account were not disclosed.
"We’re pitching against much bigger comms firms, the better known brands of the industry," said Sunshine.
Snap Inc.’s IPO announcement at the beginning of February has provided plenty of media grist for the Investor Stewardship Group to grind.
Healy said Snap’s decision to issue shares without voting rights is one thing the organization is trying to combat. It has offered members as expert sources on corporate governance in the weeks after the announcement.
"ISG is looking to increase transparency and hold companies, management, and boards accountable so shareholders are being taken care of and they have as many rights as possible," Healy said.