H/Advisors has a unique approach to strategic communications, combining unrivalled local market expertise, seamless cross-border collaboration and global scale that ensures our clients achieve their business goals. Our work extends to the world’s leading publicly traded companies, private equity and investment firms, and education and philanthropic institutions.
What we do
M&A and Shareholder Activism
Mergers and acquisitions are among the most profoundly significant events a company can face, impacting all stakeholders in multiple ways.
The reputational stakes have never been higher for companies executing transformational M&A. Effectively communicating the merits of each transaction directly to a company’s core audiences, including investors, employees, customers, vendors, regulators and local communities can dictate the near- and long-term success of a transaction. This is where H/Advisors can make a meaningful difference.
Our model – combining unparalleled local expertise with global knowledge informed by more than two decades of partnership across the world’s top financial markets – has made H/Advisors one of the world’s strategic communicators most often sought for experienced, insightful advice at such moments.
We provide high-level strategic communications advice to boards and senior executives, scenario planning for various expected and unexpected contingencies and a full suite of communications documents tailored to each relevant audience. Our role begins in the preparation and contingency planning stages, and continues past deal announcement through regulatory approval to closing and beyond.
Since it was founded in 2001, H/Advisors has consistently ranked as one of the world’s top advisors in the global M&A rankings. In 2021 alone, we advised on some 368 M&A transactions worth approximately €200 billion.
H/Advisors has a long and respected track record in working with private equity players, and is also recognized as a leading advisor in shareholder activism. As activist shareholders have stepped up their campaigns in multiple markets, the question of how to develop and implement a durable and successful shareholder engagement program has become a necessary exercise for corporate boards and management teams.
H/Advisors works with companies to help them prepare for and engage with activist shareholders. Our expertise is rooted in having worked on campaigns across our geographic markets and against activist funds both large and small. Our guiding principle is to ensure our clients’ investors not only understand but also support the company’s strategy, ideally before an activist investor ever surfaces. As part of our services, we help our clients launch and support new shareholder engagement programs. Our innovative workshops, in-depth perception studies and unique insights help corporate leaders build enduring relationships with investors.
IPOs and Equity Capital Markets
The transition to becoming a publicly traded entity represents an important moment to build a company’s growth story and create enthusiasm among investors, customers and employees.
H/Advisors has long experience in all aspects of ECM transactions, including rights issues, IPOs, SPOs, Spin-offs or simple listings. Our clients include listed corporations, private equity funds, unlisted firms and pre-IPO candidates.
Our mission is to provide a solid foundation from both an investor relations and a corporate communications perspective on which a company can build as it continues to grow, embarking on other capital market transactions as it moves forward.
We know the IPO environment in each market where we operate, and how to execute the right communications strategy to support a successful transition to being a public company. We help develop the company’s investor positioning; build its IR infrastructure; formulate policies for public company communications; evaluate and select a stock exchange; train senior executives for analyst meetings, media interviews, the investor roadshow and quarterly earnings calls; and provide support for pricing and listing day.
Our IPO practitioners bring a holistic approach to each client engagement. We anticipate and understand the unique needs of each of our clients’ constituents during the IPO process, including analysts looking to build and refine their models, employees concerned with what working for a publicly traded company might mean for them, and customers interested to learn how the IPO might impact the products and services they purchase. Our focus is to ensure a successful IPO and establish a communications infrastructure and corporate narrative that will enable our client’s aftermarket stock price to be commensurate with its operational performance and growth prospects.
Crisis Communications and Cyber-security
When an organization is hit by a crisis, the impact is immediate and can often be devastating.
Effective preparation and quick, effective communications are the keys to limiting the damage. Our crisis communications and management support is built on 3Rs:
Understand the potential issues and risk an organization may face and prepare them to respond should a risk materialize.
Help organizations respond to an incident and minimize potential reputational damage.
Guide organizations as they recover from a crisis and work with them to learn from the experience and enhance their reputation in the aftermath.
Our team of experts has multi-industry crisis management experience from numerous perspectives, including in-house, media and government. We know how to mobilize rapidly to activate a quick response and scalable team at strategic and local levels. Our primary focus is always helping clients manage a crisis while keeping their reputation and valuation intact, whilst meeting the needs of critical stakeholders. These incidents can range from money laundering to cyber incidents to regulatory investigations to whistleblower issues.
We provide an integrated, top-leadership perspective, acting as true counsellors to business heads in times of their greatest needs. We not only help leaders to shape clear crisis-response messages but also advise on the reputational implications of operational decisions.
Financial Communications and Investor Relations
The role of investor relations within companies across the world has grown significantly in importance and sophistication in recent years, driven by the globalization of financial markets, the increasingly complex legal and regulatory obligations and the drive towards ESG investment criteria.
H/Advisors specializes in helping our listed clients develop influential investor relations programs that capture their intrinsic value and future growth potential, while maintaining a constant and productive dialogue with their investor base.
We advise clients on best practices across the full range of investor-relevant communications, including messaging, presentation development, guidance, compliance, investor targeting, analyst relationship building and the use of digital and social media tools.
The services we provide include earnings preparation, investor targeting, investor surveys and message development, using digital and social tools. We also deliver support for analyst days and non-deal roadshows.
Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds, including sell-side analysts and buy-side investors, giving us unique insight on how to build investor support for the long-term.
Nothing can be more precious to an organization or an individual than their reputation.
At H/Advisors, we design and implement integrated communications programs to support corporate strategy and advance specific business initiatives. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to enhance and preserve their good standing in the eyes of their key audiences.
We advise on how to handle critical stakeholders from campaign groups to activist investors to parliamentary enquiries. We run media training courses and crisis simulations, and we design crisis management processes.
Our role is not only advisory. We liaise directly with the media, using our years of journalistic experience to get the message across. Our work leverages deep relationships with the most influential publications and channels, and our knowledge of how to build an enduring public profile. We also help clients assess and manage their social media profiles, including benchmarking against peers, engaging strategically so that their social media activities are consistent with and advance their corporate narratives, and actively monitoring the digital media landscape.
Political decisions around the world are having a profound impact on every aspect of business life.
That is why government relations and regulatory issues need to be top of the agenda for every boardroom and CEO. Private sector organizations have a crucial role to play in helping to shape government actions. Governments are looking to business to drive economic recovery, support employees, and become more resilient.
At the same time, a broader array of issues also remains firmly on the domestic and international agenda: health care, energy, trade, transportation, technology competition questions, climate change activities, taxation and sustainable business practices all require sustained dialogue between the public and private sectors.
Our clients rely on H/Advisors to help them navigate the ever-shifting public sector landscape. We provide local, market-specific political and policy expertise, while integrating our counsel seamlessly into our clients’ strategic business objectives.
To address these challenges, H/Advisors develops and executes bespoke political and regulatory advocacy communications programs, from high-profile campaigns and stakeholder engagement initiatives to rapid response, policy monitoring and advocacy in select markets.
Our consultants draw on their extensive experience in the policy arena to provide our clients with a fully range of services.
We deliver best-in-class political intelligence and insight, including informed assessments of new policy impact assessments.
We help our clients analyze their stakeholder universe and then to design and implement the appropriate outreach programs with key opinion leaders. We identify the relevant thought leadership platforms and prepare our clients to make the most of any relevant opportunities to express their positions and concerns to the right audiences.
We offer informed advice on issues management. We help design integrated political, media and digital campaigns. We counsel and coach our clients on how best to manage their political reputation.
No company can afford to stand still. Navigating change is an integral aspect of management, and a daily aspect of every employee’s life.
Transforming corporate structures and processes requires clear thinking, lucid explanation and a high degree of trust throughout the organization.
As companies grapple with the need to change, often on multiple fronts, communication plays a crucial role in overcoming internal resistance and change-fatigue, thereby allowing new ways of working to be adopted.
H/Advisors’ transformation experts have deep experience in working with our clients, including listed corporations, private equity funds and their portfolio companies to analyze their challenges, identify the best approach and apply the tools best adapted to the situation. Their role is to help clients introduce new structures and improve processes, and above all to bring about the more profound cultural transformation which is the ultimate success factor in any corporate change.
Our teams provide expertise in all the most sensitive transformational moments throughout a company’s lifecycle. These include:
- Strategic alignment
We help our clients build the narrative to tell their story. We design the suitable dialogue formats for top management and executives. We enable team-level communication plans. And we work with our clients to implement post-transformation communication programs.
- M&A and post-merger transformation
We accompany our clients throughout the full process, from transaction to transformation. We help conceive, draft and implement the pre-merger and Day-One change story and roadmap. We provide management training in the equity story and integration rules. We work on the development of the new corporate culture. We draft and implement Day-One communication plans. We work on top management roadshows and marketing lighthouse projects. We deliver cultural awareness, integration, and dialogue programs. And we are hands-on throughout the post-merger integration processes.
Content development is a crucial element in any restructuring process. This includes the storyline and messaging specific to identified target groups. We develop the full communications planning development process. We execute information events for managers, employees, politics, major customers, and suppliers. We design manager empowerment programs. And we work with our clients to ensure that they are fully prepared in terms of crisis prevention, scenario planning, and leak strategies.
- Cultural change
Our role as external transformation consultants is to provide the culture assessment and analysis necessary for any successful program. We help develop goals, draft mission statements, implement internal communications programs, and design the leadership programs and collaboration workshops to ensure that all the players are empowered and aware of their new roles.
ESG and Sustainability
Environmental, social and governance criteria are crucially important factors in investment decisions.
Although the regulations and dynamics behind sustainability decisions vary from region-to-region, investors, customers, employees and communities across the world care about ESG as an important criterion in risk management, value creation and brand values.
ESG has also provoked a profound rethink of corporate priorities. It has signalled the end of shareholder primacy, heralding a new multi-stakeholder approach. Sustainability, purpose, and a much more ambitious set of long-term goals, rather than quarterly reports, have all become the building blocks of corporate strategy.
Our consultants draw upon a wide range of skills and extensive ESG experience to help organisations embark upon an ESG journey with a coherent strategy and effectively communicate it to all their stakeholders.
- Engaging all stakeholders
The H/Advisors’ specialist ESG team has a proven track record of advising companies on the risks and opportunities they face in the light of ESG’s increasing dominance of the corporate debate. We provide a multi-level approach, engaging across the corporate structure with all the key stakeholders, notably the Board, top management, communications teams, investor relations, public affairs teams and employee relations departments.
- An integrated ESG strategy
Our team helps our clients in all sectors, including private equity funds, to develop their full ESG communications strategy. We execute peer reviews and benchmarking. We design and carry out ESG investor surveys and materiality assessments. We deliver stakeholder mapping and engagement plans, including ESG roadshows.
- Non-financial reporting
We have a proven track record of advising, writing and designing ESG reports for companies in different markets. We also advise on different ratings and rankings. And we help design and implement full ESG training programs for employees to help execute sustainability strategies.
- Political and regulatory preparation
Working together, the H/Advisors’ ESG and political teams help clients to prepare for the fast-evolving policy announcements that are coming from both national governments and regional regulators. Removing uncertainty and providing reassurance helps them prepare for changes and be able to benefit from the future opportunities.
Litigation and Regulatory Disputes
H/Advisors has an outstanding track record of strategic communications advisory on major cross-border legal and regulatory disputes in key areas such as litigation, white collar crime, insolvency, defamation and international arbitration.
H/Advisors’ litigation communications team is made up of specialists with extensive experience, including former lawyers, experienced in managing the most sensitive situations such as international and domestic litigation and legal proceedings with a strong reputational impact.
H/Advisors’ consultants have a comprehensive grasp of the legal, financial and reputational issues at stake, and work closely with legal counsel to define and implement a communications strategy perfectly aligned with the legal strategy. With an in-depth knowledge of the media landscape, the team works to ensure key messages are accurately delivered to key stakeholders at the most crucial of times. They anticipate and engage support from all relevant stakeholders throughout a crisis.
Building on the strength of the international network, H/Advisors’ specialists operate in multiple jurisdictions and varied media landscapes and social networks.
We support clients across the litigation timeline, from before a complaint is filed and through the appeals process. Our work includes:
Stepping in early, before a demand letter is sent or complaint filed, helping to craft the messaging, or developing a strategy to avoid litigation and promote settlement.
Supporting a client throughout the pre-trial process, helping prepare communications to capitalize on or respond to key milestones, including new motions, critical hearings, and procedural decisions.
Providing live on-site trial support, managing the news media in the courtroom and refining messaging in real time to reflect trial developments.
Providing ongoing media relations support during the appeals process and helping instill confidence in a client’s legal and business strategy with key stakeholders.
Blockchain and Sovereign Technologies
We are entering a new era where disruptive technologies are no longer a future prospect, but a real and present opportunity for all companies.
Web 3.0 is radically changing our daily landscape and must therefore be a priority in business development. The sector of sovereign and new technologies is an inexhaustible source of discovery and provides an immediate challenge to question our daily practices. This is why it is essential to keep a constant eye on new advances and trends.
Our consultants guide companies, start-ups and public institutions through a 360° consulting service on sovereign technologies, including blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, metaverse, etc.
This support is based on four pillars:
- Technological intelligence
Our expert consultants have a deep knowledge of the stakeholders, and of current and future trends, providing valuable resources to introduce our clients to the sector.
- Strategic advice on digital governance
By gaining insight into an extremely dynamic and volatile sector, we advise our clients on how to develop strategies that avoid pitfalls and set them apart from the competition.
- Deployment of digital infrastructures
Our in-house solutions enable clients to benefit from the best infrastructure to develop their ambitions.
- Global communication support
Our consultants’ expertise enables clients to reach the relevant public and media targets to ensure their messages are heard and their strategies understood.