I have held shares in Renew Holdings (AIM:RNWH) since 2006. It has been my most profitable single investment, due to opportunities to add at very low prices in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Unfortunately, however, in recent years it has developed an unfortunate tendency to exclude individual investors from its results meetings.
Renew published its preliminary results for Y/E September 2020 today. The announcement included an invitation to “sell-side analysts and investors” to attend a virtual meeting, with instructions to contact their PR advisers for details. I duly did this and received the response: “The meeting today is for sell-side analysts and institutions only but what we will do is get a recording over to you afterwards.”
This is completely unacceptable: a) there were questions I wanted to ask management; b) this is a classic example of the “unlevel playing field”, where institutions get early access to information that individual investors are excluded from. In the US, this is illegal under “Regulation FD”. It is time that the UK government woke up to this issue and created similar legislation here.
In the meantime, businesses that act in this manner are doing themselves a disservice: they damage trust with their individual investors and will find themselves in ShareSoc’s crosshairs. Much of the day-to-day liquidity in a smallcap company like Renew is generated by individual investors, essential to proper price discovery.
I am considering whether now is the time for me to dispose of my shareholding and stick with companies that treat their individual investors more fairly.
Mark Bentley, Director, ShareSoc