Equiniti Share Registration Conference

On 26 September Equiniti held their excellent annual conference, chaired by the amusing Steph McGovern (the business presenter on BBC Breakfast). There was a good deal of discussion about block chains and digitising shareholder communications, but the main areas of interest for me were:

  • Steve Banfield (of Equiniti) who ran through some governance and regulation issues, pre and post-Brexit.
  • Steph McGovern’s views on the business world – she has to be close to business, spending most of her time interviewing CEOs around the country. She commented that, with such uncertainty in the marketplace, many companies were holding back on spending. She was concerned that Brexit discussions would go on for a long time and our plans to exit would be watered down. Her response to the EU’s 2 year period to agree terms was unprintable! She also expressed concern about the mounting debt crisis in the UK, with those on lower incomes likely to be hit by forthcoming interest rate hikes. Much depends, she said, on consumer and services spending. She wondered what the politicians were doing!

Equiniti used a really useful event App, which had loads of uses, including a live poll. For example, when delegates were asked how they planned to deal with wider stakeholder involvement, 50% said that they planned to designate existing non-executives as having special responsibility for employees and other stakeholders, with advisory councils coming in at around 37%, and only 13% looking at a director appointed by the workforce. For my part, I think the best governed companies will go for advisory councils.



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