"Talk to us" - investors tell companies

Mon 30 Jan 2017

Companies should do more to engage as retail shareholders show appetite for corporate governance

Research from Equiniti, a leading provider of technology-led solutions to financial services clients, shows retail investors expect more communication from the companies they invest in. A survey of over 6,000 shareholders found that more than three quarters (77%) think that the companies they invest in should do more to engage with their shareholders.

The trend toward online communications is clear with 58% of investors preferring to hear about their shareholdings via email. Furthermore, a third of investors (33%) find out more about the companies they invest in by following them on social media. Although these figures do not reflect the differing views across the generations; when asked if people would like to receive notifications about dividends and transactions on their mobile 60% of those under 45 said yes, while that figure dropped to 40% for the older respondents - underlining the need for companies to adapt to the needs of the next generation of shareholders.

Retail investors’ thirst for information does not stop there, with nearly a third (29%) saying they either do or would like to attend AGMs, and almost half (44%) saying they would be more likely to attend an online AGM.

Stuart Ellen, managing director of Equiniti’s share registration business, said:

“These findings should come as very welcome news to companies, your investors are interested and want to know more about what you are doing. The world of shareholder communications is changing quickly and companies need to run fast to keep up. Last year we ran the UK’s first fully electronic AGM and there is a lot of demand for these types of meetings, they reduce cost and improve shareholder participation. This new technology has the potential to create a retail investor base that is significantly more active in the governance matters, for retail investors they are a game changer.”

He continued:

“Whilst dematerialisation of shares has been on the horizon for some time it will be 2017 when  the government will  start consulting on how it will actually work. The demand of digital communications is growing and we feel that this must be reflected in the new rules. For example, compulsory capture of additional  contact information will futureproof this process, and improve shareholder engagement and governance processes for  years to come.” 

ENDS 


For further information please contact: 

Alex Child-Villiers / William Barker Temple Bar Advisory 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7002 1080 

Email: alexcv@templebaradvisory.com / williamb@templebaradvisory.com

Notes to Editors

About Equiniti:

Equiniti is a specialist outsourcer delivering technology-enabled solutions to large enterprises. It processes £90bn in payments every year, handles 88 million documents and pays 20 per cent of pensioners in the UK. We are acknowledged leaders in many of our markets and keep things running smoothly for some of the UK's best-known brands and public sector organisations.