This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

finnCap Cracks the Whip at Akers Bioscience

Akers Bioscience (AKR) issued a most unusual announcement this morning: https://www.investegate.co.uk/akers-biosciences–akr-/rns/directorate-change—other-information/201810080700052072D/

Of particular interest is this statement:

finnCap Ltd, the Company’s Nominated Adviser on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, gave the Company formal three months’ notice of its resignation as the Company’s Nominated Adviser and Broker on October 6, 2018. finnCap has also informed the Company that its resignation will be accelerated so as to take immediate effect if the whole Board of Directors does not attend an AIM Rules briefing hosted by finnCap no later than 4.30 p.m. BST on October 12, 2018.

Whilst I am not familiar with the background in this particular case, kudos to finnCap for taking a principled stance in their role as NOMAD to this company and insisting on adherence to the AIM rules. There have been too many instances in the past where compliance (especially regarding timely and accurate disclosure of material information) has seemingly been poor and where there has been no apparent punishment.

ShareSoc continues to campaign for improvements in the AIM market, including regulatory enforcement. See https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/campaign-improve-aim-market/ As part of that campaign we have held discussions with the AIM authorities to press for improved regulation. Within those discussions we have received mixed messages about the role of NOMADs. On the one hand we have been led to believe that they play a key role in enforcing regulation but on the other, we were told that NOMADs  merely act as advisers. We ere told that company directors have primary responsibility for adherence to AIM rules. The (overly complex) regulatory landscape is illustrated in this diagram:

It appears that in this instance finnCap were dissatisfied with the company’s adherence and are to be congratulated on their firm action.

This, however, highlights another weakness in the current regime. In the event that the company still does not comply, who is punished? It appears that it is the company’s shareholders that will suffer, through the shares being suspended, rather than the company’s directors. We will continue to press for an improved regulatory regime in the AIM market.

Mark Bentley

Director, ShareSoc

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