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A Background to Corporate Action Jobs

Corporate action jobs span a wide range of the commercial activities of public companies, including mergers and acquisitions, dividends, share issues and share/stock splits. Specialists are found in almost all financial services niches, from prime brokerage in investment banks to trust management. As in most financial services jobs, the last couple of decades have brought considerable change, especially that of the dematerialisation of most securities.

There are three types of corporate actions, with the basic distinction between mandatory actions (that is, an action in which shareholders must participate, such as a stock split), voluntary actions (those which require an optional response – for example a shareholder taking up a tender offer) and mandatory with choice (where a default action happens in the case of a shareholder not responding to options offered).

Specific areas of operational expertise sought often revolve around fixed income specialisation and/or specific market knowledge – for example Emerging or Far East markets. Other specific experience sought includes OTC (Over The Counter) trades and ETD (Exchange Traded Derivatives). Since the financial crash in 2008, the issue of stock lending has come to public attention and this is a key area for those in corporate actions departments.

Almost all organisations which employ corporate actions specialists have dedicated workflow systems for each type of corporate action. These systems ensure legal and fiscal compliance, appropriate treatment for different classes of stockholders, calendar compliance and response management (for example shareholder responses to a tender offer). Another key aspect is the management of shareholder votes and proxies leading up to an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting. Vast sums of money can depend on the timely and efficient processing of an action, and even though there is workflow system support, each action has to be configured in the system by a specialist, and signed off – the ‘four-eyes’ principle is far from dead, despite modern technology.

About the Author : Emily Inglis is a supporter of corporate action jobs



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