All Investors Matter

An urgent call for UK PLCs, industry bodies, regulators, investors, investment banks and the financial ecosystem to protect individual shareholder rights during upcoming capital raises.
To the boards and management teams of the UK’s listed companies,

COVID-19 is leading to a large wave of recapitalisations for UK PLCs. We are concerned that UK retail investors are not receiving their entitlements to participate in these often discounted fundraisings.

Here are the facts:

  1. The FCA’s welcome stance on pre-emption rules has enabled companies to issue up to 20% of their share capital quickly and without a rights offering to broader shareholders.[1]

  2. UK PLCs are now issuing significant amounts of shares directly to institutional investors and typically at discounts to already depressed share prices. As of the date of this letter, this includes ASOS PLC, Hays PLC, Hotel Chocolat Group PLC, Informa PLC, Joules PLC, MJ Gleeson, SSP PLC and WH Smith PLC.[2]

  3. The FCA Statement of Policy stresses the importance of “retaining an appropriate degree of investor protection” and that “Issuers can play an important role in delivering ‘soft pre-emption’ in the placings”[1]

While we recognise the need for businesses to raise equity capital in an expedited fashion, we are concerned that no protections are being afforded to retail investors.

Technology exists today to run a retail offer as part of an accelerated fundraise, with no delay to the issuance timeline or impact on pricing. www.primarybid.com, for example, has partnered with London Stock Exchange to do exactly this (at no cost to individual investors).

We encourage UK PLCs and their boards to protect individual shareholders and employees by respecting their rights to participate alongside the institutional investors, management teams and board members.

This is more than just good governance

Retail investors are showing unprecedented support for UK PLCs. In recent weeks, they represented over 20% of the volume on the FTSE All Share with 60-74% of this volume being BUY orders. UK stockbroking platforms are reporting over three-fold increases in new account openings. They can and should represent a powerful source of funds for listed companies. [3] [4]

This letter requests the following calls to action:

  1. UK PLCs consider the FCA guidance by “exercising their right to be consulted on, and to direct, bookrunners’ allocation policies” and mandate retail tranches as part of a fundraise

  2. All deal advisors ensure retail investors are part of their thinking when structuring a fundraise

  3. Retail investor industry bodies continue working with The Pre-Emption Group (PEG) and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) to ensure that best-practice guidance makes reference to the importance of retail involvement in accelerated capital raisings.”

We urge anyone who has sympathy with our views to sign this open letter and draw attention to this important issue.


Signatories:

  • Anand Sambasivan, CEO & James Deal, COO PrimaryBid
  • Andy Bell, Founder & CEO AJ Bell
  • Peter Hargreaves, Founder Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Paul Killik, Senior Executive Officer, Killik & Co
  • Gavin Oldham OBE, Chairman Share plc/The Share Centre
  • Anne Richards, CEO Fidelity International
  • Richard Wilson, CEO Interactive Investor
  • Greg Bennett, Former Head of Capital Markets Fidelity International
  • Martin Gilbert FRSE
  • Lord Lee of Trafford DL FCA House of Lords
  • Kevin Parry, Chairman Royal London
  • Sir Brian Williamson, former Director NYSE Euronext
  • Sarah Wilson, CEO Minerva Analytics Ltd
  • Nigel Wray, Entrepreneur
  • Andy Brough, Fund Manager Schroders
  • Adrian Collins, former Chairman Liontrust Asset Management plc
  • Adam Dodds, CEO at Freetrade
  • Nick Finegold, Founder Curationcorp.com
  • John de Blocq van Kuffeler, CEO Non-Standard Finance plc
  • Brian Mattingley, Chairman 888 Holdings
  • Nigel Morris, CEO Solid Solutions
  • Simon Raggett, CEO Strand Hanson
  • Richard Watts, Fund Manager Merian Global Investors
  • Gervais Williams, Head of Equities Premier Miton Investors
  • Adam McConkey, Chairman Quoted Companies Alliance
  • Mark Northway, Chairman ShareSoc

References

Note to editors: This open letter is being coordinated by PrimaryBid, a partner of London Stock Exchange.


Sign the Letter

Privacy Policy

We are PrimaryBid Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08092575. For the purpose of data protection laws, we are the controller, and are responsible for your personal data (collectively referred to as “PrimaryBid”, "we", "us" or "our" in this privacy policy).

PrimaryBid respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy policy will inform you as to how we look after your personal data when you visit https://allinvestorsmatter.co.uk/ (regardless of where you visit it from), and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you. Please note that https://allinvestorsmatter.co.uk/ (the “All Investors Matter Website”) is separate to PrimaryBid’s main website primarybid.com and there is a separate privacy policy you should read if you visit or use that site.

1. Important information

Purpose of this privacy policy

This privacy policy aims to give you information on how PrimaryBid collects and processes your personal data through your use of this website.

It is important that you read this privacy policy together with any other policy or notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you, so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data.

For the avoidance of doubt, this website is not intended for children under the age of 18 years old or individuals outside of the EEA. We do not knowingly collect data relating to such individuals.

Contact details

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or our privacy practices, please contact PrimaryBid by writing to us at the following address:

  • 21 Albemarle St
  • Mayfair, London
  • W1S 4BS
  • United Kingdom

You can also contact us by emailing enquiries@primarybid.com, or by calling +44 20 3026 4750.

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact us in the first instance.

Third-party links

This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements or their handling of your data. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy policy of the websites you visit.

2. The data we collect about you

Personal data, or personal information, refers to any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you that we have grouped together as follows:

  • Identity Data includes first name, last name, company, title, date of birth and gender.
  • Contact Data your email address.
  • Profile Data includes your feedback and survey responses.
  • Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving updates from us and our third parties about All Investors Matter Website and your communication preferences.
  • IP address

We do not collect any special categories of Personal Data about you (such as details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health, and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.

3. How is your personal data collected?

We only collect your personal data for the All Investors Matter Campaign where you enter it using the form on the All Investors Matter Website.

4. Lawful basis for processing

We only process your data (which may include providing it to a third party) where we have identified a valid lawful basis to do so. The valid lawful basis we rely on are as follows:

  • Consent - We will seek to obtain your consent to process your data.

5. How we use your personal data

We will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • To add your name to a petition for the purposes of supporting the All Investors Matter Campaign.
  • Where you agree, to add your name to the All Investors Matter Website showing your support for the All Investors Matter Campaign.
  • Where you agree to be contacted with further information about the All Investors Matter Campaign, contacting you with that information.

Opting Out of Updates

You can ask us to stop sending you update messages at any time by following the opt out links on any update message sent to you. Where you opt out of receiving these marketing messages, we will still process your personal data provided to us as a result of your use of our website or our services.

Copies of data protection impact assessments or legitimate interest assessments we have undertaken are available on request by using the contact details set out at the start of this policy.

Cookies

The All Investors Matter Website does not use cookies.

6. Disclosures of your personal data

We will keep your information within the organisation except where disclosure is required or permitted by law, or when we use third party service providers (data processors) to supply and support our services to you. Where we use third party processors, we have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal data unless we have instructed them to do so. They will not share your personal data with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Third-party marketing

We will not share your personal data with any third party for the purposes of third-party marketing.

7. International Transfers

Your data is stored by us and our processors in the UK, EEA or in a country where an adequacy decision has been made by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) (e.g. EU-US Privacy Shield).

8. Your legal rights

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data (though please note that your rights may be limited under certain circumstances). For example, you may have the right to:

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons, which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us using the details provided at the start of the policy.

What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

Time limit to respond

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it could take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.