www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 5 Goal Group, the global leader in withholding tax reclamation and securities class action recovery services, is delighted to have won Wealth & Money Management Awards in both of its business areas this year. We spoke to them about their services in class action recovery, and how they continue to maintain the exceptional standards they set for themselves. With a proud 25 year history, Goal helps the world’s largest financial institutions and the global investment community meet its fiduciary duty to maximise fund returns though participation in securities class action litigation. This is where groups of shareholders file a joint claim against a company to recover investment losses stemming from corporate fraud and misgovernance. Institutional investors stand to boost returns substantially if they claim their rightful share of a class action settlement. Goal has recovered hun- dreds of millions of pounds in compensation for its global client base. The “Best for Global Securities Class Action Recovery” award recognis- es Goal’s achievement in leading the industry from the emergence of US-centric class actions in early part of the twenty-first century to the globalisation that is taking place today. Stephen Everard, Chief Executive Officer, Goal Group of Companies commented: “We are proud to receive the Wealth & Money Management Award at a time when our company – and the class actions landscape – is undergoing such rapid change. “Increasing numbers of legislatures around the world are developing mechanisms to make class actions possible, and we are ideally placed to help global investors monitor and take advantage of opportunities to obtain compensation from owning shares in companies where there has been mismanagement or unlawful behaviour.” This has been Goal’s best year to date, with record class action filings and substantial new client wins achieved through strategic alliances and directly through its global network of offices in London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Melbourne and Hong Kong. Mr Everard says that the company “offers a truly global service, delivered locally”. Experts in each office combine their in-depth legal and proce- dural knowledge with Goal’s global research team and market-leading software, to provide an ‘end to end’ outsourced claims filing service. Bill Salva, Global Business Development Manager at Goal Group, explains: “We take care of the entire process – from initially pinpoint- ing transactions where investors have suffered losses, to completing, filing and tracking the claims and collecting the compensation on clients’ behalf.” Goal’s class actions software is developed and continually maintained in-house, and includes workflow capability to produce industry-leading claim submissions and bespoke client reports. Security, of course, is paramount in this market. In the past year, Goal is proud to have been awarded ISO 27001:2013 certification, the inter- nationally recognised standard in information security – and is the only service provider in either of its business areas - class actions and tax reclamation - to have received this. Goal estimates that settlements in securities class actions outside the US will reach USD 8.3bn annually by 2020. If non-participation rates are similar to the US market, then USD 2.02bn of investors’ rightful returns could be left unreclaimed each year by the end of the decade. There is even evidence that some custodians are restricting the geography of their class action recovery service provision, indicating that non-partici- pation rates may even be higher. Stephen Everard, CEO, says: “Many global investors and their financial advisors believe that the cost and time taken to participate in class actions outweighs the benefits of potential settlement recoveries. This is often not the case, if they work with a trusted outsourced service provider. Many also do not realise that they can claim compensation from historical cases – this is one area that we frequently advise new clients on.” It is even possible to file claims once deadlines have passed, although the court ultimately has the discretion to determine whether a late claim will be accepted. Thanks to its excellent industry relationships, Goal successfully delivers compensation for over 90% of clients who file late claims. Mr Everard cites the example of one client – a UK-based asset manage- ment firm - that had not previously participated in class actions because they assumed they would not have incurred any such losses. Goal carried out a free of charge Proof of Concept, cross-checking the portfolio’s assets against its in-house database to identify any historical or current class action cases in which the client could have participated, and those where deadlines had recently passed. It emerged that 23% of the portfolio’s assets were eligible for a class action lawsuit – representing potential recoveries of £4 million. Commenting on Goal Group’s prospects, Mr Everard adds: “We are at our busiest ever and will continue to build our client base in existing and new markets, directly and through strategic partnerships. Non-US class actions are a major opportunity for custodians and fund managers across the world, and we are committed to helping them recoup com- pensation on behalf of their clients to maximise fund returns.” Goal’s clients include five of the top ten global custodians and six of the top ten global fund managers, alongside hundreds of corporate pension funds, investment banks, local government authorities, prime brokerage firms, private banks, hedge funds and high net-worth individuals.