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The Engagement Appeal Calls On All Listed Companies To Commit To Inclusive Investor Engagement

Apr 17, 2023 | Press Releases

The Engagement Appeal, a new social venture focused on bridging the gap between companies and individual investors, is calling on all companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and 1 million individual investors to commit to inclusive investor engagement by December 2025.

Investor inclusion involves shifting traditional investor relations mindset of company engagement being solely focused on the largest institutional shareholders to including all investors, particularly retail shareholders, in engagement programs, such as the quarterly investor road show. More tangibly, this involves applying new and existing tech to communicate with and facilitate participation by all investors in corporate events, such as proxy voting and AGMs where hybrid participation – in-person and live-stream – should always be available.

The Engagement Appeal promotes collaboration and constructivism and focuses on supporting the development of digital tools that enable improved communication between companies and individual investors, as well as providing guidance on fostering greater sustainability within organisations. It will create a space where generational gaps can be addressed and the public good can be promoted.

The Engagement Appeal’s whitepaper, ‘The Path to Inclusive Investor Engagement – A Roadmap for Mutual Benefit’ outlines the need for listed companies to take a more inclusive approach to individual shareholder engagement. Whilst many companies do engage with individual investors, the flow of information tends to be one way – from the business to its shareholders – with little opportunity for feedback.

The Engagement Appeal believes that a more inclusive approach, using cost-effective technology, can provide net benefits for companies that choose to engage with individual investors. Widening companies’ engagement to include individuals, who are increasingly gen z and millennial, would also aid with future-proofing and mutual understanding of stakeholder values.

The paper outlines modern principles and solutions to bridge the gap between companies and individual investors for the benefit of both groups and is the culmination of research spanning over 12 months, and outreach to around 150 contacts at UK PLCs, corporate advisers, institutional investors, sustainable tech firms, impact organisations, regulators and trade associations. The paper has also had input from key academics in the field including Nobel Laureate, Professor Oliver Hart of Harvard University.

“We believe that all investors should have an equal voice in how their investments are managed,” said Sheryl Cuisia, co-founder of The Engagement Appeal. “The Engagement Appeal is committed to bringing together diverse voices and perspectives in order to promote real change within businesses today by developing effective solutions that meet the needs of both companies and investors and allows all stakeholders to benefit from corporate decision making.”

“At The Engagement Appeal we strive for mutual benefit,” said Danny Wallace, co-founder of The Engagement Appeal. “We want our efforts to create a fairer system for everyone involved in the corporate world – from shareholders to employees – by encouraging transparency, collaboration, and responsibility throughout all levels of management.”

The co-founders are grateful for the generous support of The Engagement Appeal’s inaugural sponsor, Morrow Sodali, and for the dedication of the informal committee that inspired the development of this movement. Members of the informal committee are committed to driving positive societal and environmental impact. It includes individual investors and representatives from organisations ranging from impact groups, ShareAction, Tumelo, Tulipshare, and Rethinking Choices, to City firms, Mishcon de Reya, Peel Hunt and Sillion, and gen z-founded start-ups, CAUSE and Circular Regeneration. Their mission is backed by Board Agenda, ground-breaking tech firms, Proxymity, Lumi, Investor Meet Company and Pressrisk and Paul Lester, CBE, Chair of FTSE-250 Essentra plc, who is calling on other PLCs to also join in the movement.

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