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The latest study by NERA Economic Consulting shows that there has been an unprecedented volume of securities class action filings in the last three years. According to the report, we’re witnessing growth not seen in almost two decades, with annual filings more than doubling since 2015. In all, there were 441 federal securities class actions filed in 2018—the fourth consecutive year of growth and the highest number of filings since the aftermath of the 2000 dot-com crash.
A surge in the size of new cases and an uptick in litigation against firms in the technology sector are driving the upward trend. The average settlement value rebounded to $69 million from the 2017 near-record low, mostly due to the $3 billion settlement against Petroleo Brasileiro S.A - Petrobas, the fifth-highest settlement ever. Even excluding Petrobas, with the average settlement exceeding $30 million, millions of dollars are at stake.
Given the rapidly-evolving landscape and the sheer volume of class actions, it’s harder than ever to stay current and take advantage of opportunities on behalf of clients. To keep up, industry leaders are looking to outsource class action recovery operations. A trusted partner can help you maximize efficiency, increase cost savings and boost client satisfaction. As you evaluate potential partners, here are four key considerations to keep top of mind.
Partner with a well-connected firm that can leverage industry relationships.
Not only are class actions growing domestically, but over the past several years there’s been continued growth of global securities litigation. According to Cornerstone Research, class action filings against non-U.S. issuers have nearly doubled the 1997-2017 average of 24 to 47. In 2018, more than a quarter of all U.S. class action filings were against foreign companies. And plaintiffs targeted more Asian companies than in any previous year. As the class action market evolves, the type of class action activity has increased. There has been a rise in antitrust activity related to financial instruments.
“A trusted partner can help you increase cost savings and boost client satisfaction.”
There are now far more cases to identify, in more sectors and in more global jurisdictions. Facilitating the recovery and distribution of class action awards requires access to a global network of professionals dedicated to securities litigation, including lawyers, Claims Administrators, litigation funders, industry associations and more.
It’s not easy to accurately track filings, settlements and monitor ongoing litigation developments across the globe. The most successful recovery service providers also tend to be the most informed. Make sure your partner is well connected because relevant class action information circulates through prominent industry networks.
Find a partner with comprehensive data management and aggregation capabilities.
There is no centralized global repository of class action filings. Instead, there are more than 600 discrete global sources that document and track claim opportunities. Firms that can consolidate data from an array of disparate sources are in the best position to stay apprised of every relevant filing in every jurisdiction.
In addition to locating filings and settlements, your partner should have the data necessary to identify client eligibility in a timely manner. To that end, you need data not only regarding clients’ current holdings, but also past holdings as well—regardless of where the assets are held in custody. Data aggregation is thus a crucial tool for any provider, without which they risk missing claim opportunities for your clients.
Finally, comprehensive data management can help streamline many of the processes associated with class action recovery. Accurate data makes it much easier to send relevant information to claims administrators, file all necessary documentation, verify each recovery check amount and distribute the payments as instructed. Your partner should also have the tools to perform a confirmation check on the recognized loss amount both after filing and upon receipt of the distribution. That way, you can be confident the full recovery amount is awarded to every client, every time.
Expedite the process and ensure you never miss a filing by partnering only with firms who employ advanced data management and aggregation capabilities.
Make sure your partner provides the tools you need to deliver frictionless client service.
The best client experience begins with convenient and intuitive web access. Leading class action recovery service providers use digital portals through which clients can track the status of each case, claim and award in real time. A web portal also helps ensure maximum transparency and enables firm personnel to know when recovery amounts are due, the amount expected and the account history. 24/7 real-time information access gives you greater confidence and your clients added peace of mind.
No matter how good the experience is, clients will sour if the process is mired in delay. Look for a partner that can facilitate faster payments, delivered as soon as awards become available. To expedite service, your partner should be able to quickly verify and disperse payments by check, ACH, wire or send recoveries directly to clients, advisors or brokers.
Choose a partner that prioritizes data privacy and security.
High-profile data security events can cause lasting damage to an organization. Along with posing serious risk to consumers, security breaches can bring significant fines and also undermine brand credibility.
Your reputation matters. Make sure your partner puts data security and privacy above everything else.
Consider that most breaches happen long before data is compromised. Find a partner with access to threat notifications from leading cybersecurity agencies and forums. And look for partners and vendors with key quality management certifications (e.g. ISO 27001 or ISO 9001). In addition, ask about the provider’s integrated response and recovery plan. Too many companies are caught flat-footed. Breaches will happen, so it’s vital that your partner has a sophisticated and comprehensive response protocol in place.
Over 600 organizations have relied on Broadridge’s global securities class action services because of our global reach, industry expertise and world-class standards.
Our experts analyze and match all investment positions to identify recovery opportunities for each security relevant to every case and subsequent investor. Broadridge’s proprietary technology and processes enable you to reduce risk, improve the client experience, protect customer data and increase filing participation.
Given our extensive knowledge of claims administration, global securities litigation and antitrust litigation, we know the importance of 100% accuracy, 100% of the time. Our proactive approach and unique system of analysis and reconciliation ensures we do everything possible to maximize your recovery.