A core aim for ShareSoc is to seek to level the playing field for individual shareholders.
One aspect of this is addressing the cosy chats that companies have with analysts and favoured institutional investors, which individual investors usually cannot gain access to. A typical example of this was contained in ScS’s recent interim results announcement: https://www.investegate.co.uk/scs-group-plc–scs-/rns/interim-results/201803210700033530I/
Investor and Analyst Meeting
A meeting for analysts will be held at the office of Buchanan, 107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN on 21 March 2018 commencing at 9.30am. ScS Group plc’s Interim Results 2018 are available at www.scsplc.co.uk
An audio webcast will be available on:
At first glance it appeared that ScS was offering access via the webcast mentioned and I duly tuned in at the appointed time. However, I was disappointed to find that the webcast appeared to be a recording of management delivering their presentation, rather than access to the live event. Crucially, this webcast did not include any Q&A, which is often the most illuminating part of such meetings. Contrast this with the webcast and teleconference accompanying Canadian listed Endeavour Mining’s recent full year results announcement, where not only are all investors given the opportunity to hear all the analyst questions but can also ask questions of their own too. As I often do I asked questions of my own which revealed key details about the company’s future plans, not evident from the results announcement or the other analyst questions. It is my experience that the questions posed by those investing their own money are often more searching than those posed by agents worried about maintaining their cosy relationship with management, or looking ignorant in front of their peers.
A key reason why North American companies tend to offer better access to their investors is “Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure)”, which requires companies to disclose information to all their investors equally. It is about time that a similar regulation was introduced in the UK, something ShareSoc has been pushing for.
In the meantime, come on ScS and Buchanan (ScS’s PR advisers), let’s give ALL investors proper electronic access to your analyst meetings, not the sham that this recording represented.