Richard Davies moderates IR Seminar on Governance

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On 7 October, Richard Davies, Managing Director of RD:IR, moderated the IR Society’s second 2015 Corporate Governance Seminar.  Hosted by Instinctif, the 40-strong audience heard from a knowledgeable panel of speakers on topics broadly around the theme of “Collective Engagement: the next step in Governance”

The event was kicked off by a panel including representatives from The Investor Forum, a body formed following the recommendations of the Kay Review and subsequent Collective Engagement Working Group (a group established by the ABI, IMA and NAPF); Emily Carey, BP; and David Trenchard, David Trenchard Consulting.  The Investor Forum is an investor-led organisation, whose governance is independent of any trade association, and which was represented on the panel by Simon Fraser (Chairman), Andy Griffiths (Executive Director) & Phineas Glover (Senior Advisor).  The three speakers outlined the purpose for the formation of The Investor Forum, namely to position stewardship at the heart of investment decision-making by facilitating dialogue, creating long-term solutions and enhancing value.  They also talked through the engagement process, explaining how they would typically get involved in helping companies and investors to agree courses of action to achieve their stated goals in a confidential environment.  Following the presentation, a discussion between the panel and participants from the audience ensued, with several different points of view being aired and addressed by The Investor Forum team.

The next presentation was given jointly by David Trenchard, David Trenchard Consulting and Cas Sydorowitz, Georgeson on “Framing Activist Risk”.  They compared the typical US model of activist investment against the European model, as well as examining the difference on how activism is perceived in both geographies.  There were some fascinating insights and behind the scenes information about how activist funds operate, and real examples of companies who had successfully defended themselves against activism.

Mark Robinson, Senior Client Manager for EMEA Issuers, RD:IR, followed with a talk on Depositary Receipts (DR’s) and the governance issues surrounding this equity instrument.  He highlighted, among other issues, the lack of transparency in ownership as something for companies to consider when issuing DRs.  Representatives from depository banks in the audience contributed views and insights from their perspective to provide a useful background to the topic.

Finally, Will Pomroy, representing the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), posed the question “Where is the workforce in corporate reporting?”  His presentation looked at how companies regularly report on directors’ remuneration in their annual reporting but seldom report in any depth on other workforce metrics.  He argued that “for long-term investors, conversations about the people that constitute the workforce are crucial to understanding a company’s culture, how well a company is functioning and whether warning lights are beginning to flash”.

 

RD:IR Sponsors Best Communications at 2015 AIM Awards

The 20th annual AIM Awards Dinner took place on 8th August 2015 at Old Billingsgate, a striking City location overlooking Tower Bridge and the Thames.  Attended by well over 1,200 guests drawn from the companies and professional advisors of the AIM Market, the evening celebrated AIM as a platform for smaller and more entrepreneurial companies to grow and fulfil their strategies.

The compere for the evening was Bev Turner, LBC presenter and journalist, and entertainment was provided by Dara Ó Briain, the Irish comedian, who had the audience in stitches with his rapid-fire delivery.

RD:IR was pleased to sponsor an award for the first time – the Best Communication Award which recognises a company’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively with shareholders and  potential investors.  Amongst the areas being judged were the website, the annual report, regulatory news and press releases and the appropriate utilisation of social media.  The judging panel was looking for clarity, honesty, timeliness and consistency of messaging throughout all the company’s communications during the period from 1st August 2014 to 31st July 2015.

The panel shortlisted four companies for the award – Breedon Aggregates, Cohort, EMIS and Imperial Innovations, and it was Imperial Innovations that was announced the winner.  Jon Davies, IRO was presented his award by Richard Davies (Managing Director, RD:IR),  David Snell (Partner & AIM Leader, PwC) and Bev Turner.

 

From left to right: Richard Davies (RD:IR), David Snell (PwC), Bev Turner (awards presenter) and Jon Davies (Imperial Innovations Group plc)

From left to right:
Richard Davies (RD:IR), David Snell (PwC), Bev Turner (awards presenter) and Jon Davies (Imperial Innovations Group plc)

 

RD:IR would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted companies and the successful winners at the 2015 AIM Awards:

  • Best Communication Award – Imperial Innovations Group plc
  • Best Performing Share Award – Victoria plc
  • Best Use of AIM Award – Ideagen plc
  • Best Technology Award – Advanced Oncotherapy plc
  • AIM Transaction of the Year Award – Optimal Payments plc
  • Best Performer Over 20 Years – ASOS plc
  • Best Research Award – finnCap
  • International Company of the Year Award – Hutchison China Meditech Ltd
  • Best Newcomer Award – Fevertree Drinks plc
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Clinigen plc
  • Company of the Year Award – CVS Group plc