ShareSoc
LEADERS AND LAGGARDS

This page lists “leader” awards that ShareSoc considers companies have earned by exemplifying good practice in corporate governance and individual shareholder engagement; and “laggard” awards for those who’s behaviour falls short and we want to call out for poor practice.

Examples of good practice are responding to shareholder requests and concerns; good engagement with individual shareholders, as well as with analysts and institutions; good remuneration practices.

Examples of poor practice are holding general meetings at times and locations that make it difficult for many shareholders to attend; presenting exclusively to analysts and institutions and not offering the same opportunities to engage with individual shareholders; excessive executive remuneration.

Please contact us if you would like to nominate a company for a “leader” or “laggards” award.

ShareSoc has formed its views of these companies at the time recorded and using member recommendations and publicly available information. Companies are commended or criticised for the behaviour described. ShareSoc does not claim that the company is a leader or laggard in other aspects of its operations or that its behaviour is the best or worst example available. We describe it as “a” leader/laggard not “the” leader/laggard. If you feel that this assessment is based on inaccurate information at the time of writing or should be reconsidered subsequently, please contact us with further details.

Leaders

LeaderNewRiver REIT Open Interim Results Call

NewRiver has shown the way with their interim results call today. Their call was open to all investors and analysts simultaneously, providing a truly level playing field for individual investors. The call allowed all participants to ask questions and hear the answers. Sadly, this is unusual, with most companies either offering their individual investors a separate, later results call, or not offering anything at all for individual investors, whilst providing an opportunity only for analysts and institutions to quiz management. ShareSoc calls on all ...

LeaderUltimate Products (UPGS): Showing the Way in Shareholder Engagement

I was delighted to receive an invitation via research house, Equity Development, this afternoon to attend two events organised by LSE listed UPGS. Firstly, a presentation of their annual results on 3rd November, with an opportunity to ask questions and then a virtual showroom tour on 1st December. Too many listed and quoted companies restrict their results presentations to analysts and institutional shareholders, so it is good to see UPGS setting a good example and extending an invitation to all current and prospective ...

LeaderBHP Shows the Way With Covid-constrained AGMs

Like other companies, BHP will not be admitting shareholders to its AGM, due to current Covid-19 restrictions. Unlike many others, however, it is doing the next best thing and holding an online "shareholder forum" on 23rd September ahead of the proxy voting deadline of 13th October, for registered shareholders voting online. If, like most individual shareholders, your shares are held in a nominee account, you should check with your broker/platform what the deadline is for submitting votes through them. This meeting will enable ...

LeaderSomero AGM: A Good Attempt

I would like to commend Somero (AIM:SOM) for making a good attempt to engage with investors at the their AGM, despite Covid-19 restrictions. Their approach contrasts with that of many companies that have ducked the issue and simply closed their AGM to shareholders. Ahead of their AGM today, Somero announced web and telephone access for their AGM, which I have just participated in. The web link allowed audio access and gave shareholders the ability to ask questions. The technology worked well and ...

LeaderExemplary Remuneration at Judges Scientific

I recently commented negatively on the remuneration section of the Annual Reports of Greggs and Avast. Today I read another Annual Report from Judges Scientific (JDG) and it’s a completely different story. I have held shares in this company which is a scientific instrument maker since 2010. The share price then was 327p. It’s now 4940p. Led by CEO David Cicurel in that period, as the Annual Report says the “Management is focused on shareholder value – profitability, cash generation, debt reduction, ...

Laggards

Laggard Angus Energy to have closed GM – this underperformer misuses Covid rules

by Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director I do not own shares in Angus, but follow what is happening having received various emails, with concerns about over-optimism in previous RNSs, from shareholders. Their Brockham oil well is about 5 miles from where I live, so that makes it interesting too. Angus have announced a closed GM via RNS today, which states... As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis and the UK Government's restrictions, and in accordance with the provisions of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance ...

Laggard Supermarket REIT: Show of Hands Vote at Closed Meeting

Whilst being a good company in most respects, it is a shame that Supermarket REIT (SUPR) has blotted its copybook with an undemocratic general meeting. A general meeting was held today (5th October), to approve the issue of shares in order to expand the REIT. The notice of meeting says: However, you are reminded that in light of social distancing measures imposed by the UK government as a result of the current COVID-19 Pandemic, any member seeking to attend the meeting in person ...

Laggard Hugely Disappointing That ImmuPharma Excludes Individuals From Placing

I have been an investor, supporter and follower of ImmuPharma. So I was appalled to read that ImmuPharma (LSE:IMM) has raised £6.5 million, before expenses, via an oversubscribed placing of 59,090,909 new ordinary shares at a price of 11p per share. There was no Primary Bid offer and no notification to investors who hold their shares via nominee of this placing nor any invitation for them to share in the spoils. The placing was at 11p and the share price this morning ...

Laggard Laggard: Another example of Show of Hands without attendance at Forterra plc AGM

Forterra plc held their meeting on 14 May 2020 and resolutions were passed by way of a show of hands, and yet, the provisions for the meeting were as follows: “As a result, shareholders are not permitted to attend the AGM in person and will not be admitted.  Questions can be submitted to your Board by e-mail to investors@forterra.co.ukand it is our intention to arrange a conference call with our Chief Executive and Chief Financial officers once the current crisis has passed.” So that ...

Laggard Biffa: A Token Retail Offering is Not Good Enough

It was initially pleasing to see FTSE250 company, Biffa plc, recognise its retail shareholders, by making an offer though PrimaryBid alongside its recent institutional placing. As ever, the Prospectus Regulation meant that the retail offer was limited to €8m (otherwise a costly prospectus would have to be issued to make a larger offer to retail investors). Pretty paltry compared to the £100m institutional placing. I applied for the retail offer and was disappointed that my application was scaled back by nearly 50%. Disappointment ...