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 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 ...

Laggard Laggards? AJ Bell Directors/PDMRs’ share sales, Numis, Invesco and the FCA

On Friday, 22nd May 2020 at 16:16 an RNS announced that Fergus Lyons (a Managing Director at AJ Bell) had sold 1.25 million shares at 448.637p and his wife another 25,000. Michael Summersgill (CFO) sold 5,000 shares and his wife sold 420,00o on 21 May 2020 at the same price. However, a day earlier on Thursday 21 May at 16.51, AJ Bell announced in an RNS that Invesco "has today indicated its intention to sell up to approx 31 million shares" in a placing, organised ...

Laggard Direct Line Group: How Not to Do Covid-19 Affected AGMs

In common with many other companies, Direct Line Group has "taken the easy way out" of handling its AGM when shareholders cannot attend in person due to Covid-19 restrictions. In this announcement of 21st April, Direct Line confirms that shareholders will not be able to physically access their AGM. Only proxy votes may be submitted. Direct line also say: Shareholders may send any questions about the business of the AGM to the Company Secretary at the Company's registered office or by email to ...

Laggard Bilby Disadvantages Individual Investors in Heavily Discounted Placing

Bilby plc (AIM: BILB), a leading gas heating, electrical and building services provider, announced on November 15th the completion of a fundraise of £2 million by way of a placing of new shares at a price of 11 pence per share; Canaccord Genuity Limited acted as Nominated Adviser and sole broker in relation to the Placing. The price of Bilby shares before the pacing was 23p and after the placing was 17p. The RNS says that the Directors of the company ...

Laggard You Couldn’t Make It Up: EDGE VCT

On 29 August, long suffering EDGE VCT shareholders had finally had enough. They voted down no less than 7 resolutions at the AGM, including voting out three longstanding Directors. Chairman Sir Robin Miller had 1.7 mio votes in favour and 3.1 mio against, Lord Flight had 1.7 mio votes in favour and 3.2 mio against, and David Glick (from the Manager) had 1.7 mio votes in favour and 3.2 mio votes against. This expression of shareholder dissatisfaction is unprecedented. It was a ...