Investor Forum signs up to ingage
Online corporate access platform ingage has signed up the Investor Forum as one of its latest clients.
While ingage aims to bring corporates and institutions together without any potential for conflicts of interest, the Investor Forum, established in October 2014 off the back of the Kay Review, has similar goals.
‘What we have in common is that ingage is trying to link companies and investors in a simple, transparent way without the need for all the other intermediaries that have tended to be involved in the chain – all the brokers and the banks and what have you,’ says Andy Griffiths, the Investor Forum’s executive director. ‘We’re trying to do the same kind of thing: work with investors and companies to facilitate dialogue that creates collective engagement opportunities following on from the Kay Review.’
Until now, ingage ‒ which also announced three other new sign-ups this week ‒ has been working exclusively with corporates and institutions, adds Michael Hufton, founder and managing director of the platform. Having the Investor Forum on board represents something new for the firm.
Despite being neither a corporate nor an institution, the not-for-profit forum ‒ which boasts a board of directors that includes high-profile figures such as Marks & Spencer chairman Robert Swannell, Aberdeen Asset Management’s global chief investment officer Anne Richards and Threadneedle Investments’ chief investment officer Mark Burgess ‒ can still take advantage of the tech behind ingage, say both Hufton and Griffiths.
‘The Investor Forum can act as a conduit for investor concerns,’ explains Hufton. ‘And hopefully what you’ll end up with, to quote the Kay Review, is the ‘concerned investor rather than the anonymous trader’ as well as actually improving governance, stewardship and so on through dialogue.’
He adds that ingage’s automated, confidential feedback tool can help, allowing the Investor Forum to ‘survey investors and gather opinion in a completely confidential way – which isn’t possible with a manual system because the intermediary automatically sees what’s being said.’
The forum can also make use of other aspects of the ingage platform in the same way a corporate would, Hufton says, with meeting notes and history, customer relationship management tools to manage contacts, and reporting and record keeping. Griffiths adds that for a start-up non-profit like the Investor Forum, a service like this is especially useful.
‘It’s early days,’ says Hufton, but ‘we both see big problems with how things have worked hitherto, as well as scope for substantial improvement – and we want to each help each other in that mission.’
The platform’s other new clients, revealed in a press release this week are the $79 bn Chicago-based asset manager William Blair & Co, Kames Capital, the Edinburgh-based asset management subsidiary of Aegon, and an as-yet unnamed blue chip corporate client in mainland Europe.