30 September 2020

REVISITING SAME-DAY REPORTING TWO YEARS ON


Between 2016 and 2018, FIRST Advisers monitored how long companies took to release their Annual Report following the release of their Financial Results.

The implementation of Same-Day Reporting has become an industry standard in terms of best practice investor relations because it reflects a commitment to release this document at a time when it has most relevance to investors. It also has the practical benefit of freeing up the time of senior management time to focus on post-results Roadshows, AGM Preparation, business operations and planning for the year ahead.

Our research identified more and more companies were implementing ‘Same-Day’ or ‘Simultaneous’ reporting each year, with more than half achieving this objective in 2018.

Two years after identifying this trend, and in a year of significant disruption due to COVID-19, we have revisited our investigation to see how many current ASX300 companies that reported in August (i.e. a June 30 balance date) published their annual report on results day.

There has been a decline in the number of Same-Day Reporters

In 2020 our investigation revealed that 46% of ASX300 Companies that reported in August were Same-Day reporters. This was 12% below our 2018 finding of 58%, however it remains above 2017 (43%) and 2016 (34%) levels. (Chart 1).

Since 2018 there has been a notable change to the composition of reporting companies. Of the 203 ASX300 companies that reported in August 2020, 50 of them were not featured in our 2018 report. Interestingly, 50% of companies that are new to our investigation were Same-Day Reporters, compared with 45% of ‘returning’ companies.

CHART 1:
COMPANIES RELEASING ANNUAL REPORTS ON THE SAME DAY AS FINANCIAL RESULTS


Our analysis of 2020 data shows that there were declines in Same-Day Reporting for companies of all sizes, but most notably mid cap stocks where 43% were identified. Mid Caps were previously reported as the largest adopters of Same Day Reporting with a 33% uplift over 3 years to 62% in 2018.

49% of ASX100 companies were same day reporters, which is down from 2018 (56%) and 2017 (61%). Our findings showed 47% of Small Caps (Ex-ASX200 but within ASX300) were Same-Day Reporters, which is in line with 2017 but lower than 2018 (57%). (Chart 2).

CHART 2:
SAME-DAY REPORTING WITHIN THE ASX 300 BY COMPANY SIZE


More companies in 2020 are delaying publication compared to 2018

In 2018 we highlighted that companies which had not adopted Same-Day Reporting were still managing to publish their Annual Reports sooner after their Financial Results than prior years. This year, 62% of companies published their Annual Reports within one month of their results, down from 76% in 2018. Findings this year were below 2017 levels (68%) and in line with our 2016 findings (61%). (Chart 3).

CHART 3:
NUMBER OF WEEKS BETWEEN FINANCAL RESULTS AND ANNUAL REPORT


38% of companies took more than four weeks to publish their 2020 Annual Report, which includes 36 companies from the August reporting period that still have their report outstanding. In 2018 only 24% of companies took 5+ weeks.

Consistent with our findings from 2016 to 2018, Large Caps are still faster at producing their Annual Report, with 51% of ASX100 companies having published by the end of week two, compared with 46% for Ex-100 companies. Less than a third (29%) of ASX100 companies had not produced their 2020 Annual Report within a month of releasing their Financial Results, compared with 43% of Ex-100 companies.

Different sectors have different standards

By sector, our analysis also shows that in 2020 Same-Day Reporting was adopted most broadly across Utilities (100% of constituents), Financials (63%), Consumer Staples (60%) and Industrials (53%). For the remaining sectors, less than 50% of constituents were Same Day Reporters. (Chart 4)

CHART 4:
SAME-DAY REPORTING – SECTOR BREAKDOWN


The sector classification of some companies was retrospectively adjusted to reflect the introduction of the Communications Services sector since our 2018 investigation.

In 2020 our analysis identified two constituents in the utilities sector, both of which were Same-Day Reporters. This compares to five constituents in 2018, with three of those since dropping out of the ASX300.

Financials was another sector where the composition of members increased the relative rate of Same-Day Reporting, lifting from 52% in 2018 to 63% in 2020. Although the number of constituents was steady, there was a rotation of members with 7 new entrants while 6 companies we researched in 2018 did not make this years’ list.

Same-Day Reporting in Information Technology companies was 44% in 2020, up from 38% in 2020. The sector experienced the largest net change of members included in our report (+5).

29% of Energy companies were Same-Day Reporters in 2020 and exhibited the biggest decline when compared to 2018 (a fall of 34% from 63%). The number of eligible companies in the sector in 2020 was seven, an increase of one since 2018.

Industrials saw the second largest decline – 53% in 2020 compared to 81% in 2018 – and also experienced a net reduction of four constituents. Of the six members in 2018 that did not make up our 2020 analysis, four of them had been identified as Same-Day Reporters between 2016 and 2018.

1 August 2022

Do you need Purpose?


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director The importance of the role of Corporate Purpose has been gaining momentum globally since 2019, sparked in Australia by the release of the 4th edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. In its Principle 1, ASX noted that the Board of a listed entity should be responsible under its […]

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1 August 2022

Building your ESG Credibility


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations A company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance continues to grow in importance for investors. The challenge for companies is to develop ESG reporting metrics that reflect the specific ESG issues impacting their business, while also allowing for their performance to be measured against peers. An additional layer of complexity within […]

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29 June 2022

Evaluating Your IR Program


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations As we enter a new financial year, it is worth reflecting on the effectiveness of your Company’s IR program. This was a topic at the 2022 National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Conference held in Boston. FIRST Advisers attended the conference in June and we summarise some of the key recommendations. Recommendation […]

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29 June 2022

Perspectives on ESG from the USA


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director This year the headline topics at the NIRI (National Investor Relations Institute) Conference were ESG and the importance of Purpose. The US has, like Australia, been generally late to the ESG party compared to Europe so understanding the issues at the forefront of driving change has relevance for Australia. Ron O’Hanly Chairman and […]

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30 May 2022

Shareholder Activism is Stirring in Australia and Accelerating in Asia


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director Over the past two years, as COVID has rampaged around the world, an unexpected bonus for company boards has been the virtual exit, stage right, of activist shareholders. I’m not talking about the type of activism associated with ESG issues that we are increasingly seeing around the time of AGMs, but […]

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30 May 2022

Custodians on the share register


SALONI SURI, Shareholder Analytics In a previous blog, we talked about the structure of the share register. Common accounts on a share register include Retail Investors, Company Directors and Management, and Custodial or Nominee accounts. In this blog we will take a closer look at Custodians. Custodians’ accounts can be the most prominent shareholders on […]

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29 April 2022

Mastering Virtual Investor Days – Part 2


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director and GILES RAFFERTY, Senior Adviser Corporate Communication Following on from part 1, published in our March 2022 Newsletter, this second part of our overview of Virtual Investor Days looks at the complexities and advantages of managing online events and online presentation skills. Managing Digital Logistics For any Investor Day there are […]

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28 April 2022

The IPO market, so far in 2022


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations The IPO market in Australia was buoyant from late 2020 through 2021, following a period of subdued activity through 2019 and the first six months of Covid. This blog looks at how the IPO market is backing up in 2022 following a performance that broke all records in 2021. Despite initial […]

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30 March 2022

Mastering Virtual Investor Days – Part 1


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director In our popular two-part blog on The Do’s and Don’ts of Investor Days, we were working on the not unreasonable assumption that they would be in person events. Over the past two years Covid has ruled out face to face meetings, let alone organizing large events such as AGMs and Investor […]

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30 March 2022

STOCK BORROWING AND LENDING 101


CHRIS HUGHES, Shareholder Analyst The borrowing and lending of shares dates back to the earliest days of stock trading. Put simply, it involves the owner of shares ‘lending’ them to another investor or institution who ‘borrows’ them for a given length of time. Borrowing and lending deals are often transacted by market makers or dealers, […]

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28 February 2022

Distrust threatens societal stability


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Adviser One of the findings from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer survey is a cycle of distrust that is threatening societal stability both here in Australia and globally. The survey results were published on February 16th, a little over a week before Russia invaded the Ukraine. Australia trapped in […]

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28 February 2022

Same-Day Reporting in 2021


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations For a number of years, FIRST Advisers has been monitoring same day reporting in Australia. We define same day reporting to be when a company releases their Annual Report on the same day that they release their Full Year Financial Results. The practice of providing the Annual Report on the same […]

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28 February 2022

Proxy advice – if it ain’t, broke don’t try to fix it


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Adviser The dust has settled following the short-lived federal regulations designed to impose new licensing and independence requirements on the Proxy Adviser industry. The now defunct rules were introduced as regulations by Federal Treasure Josh Frydenberg, just before Christmas last year, rather than as legislation that could have been […]

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28 January 2022

ESG Reporting in 2021


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations At FIRST Advisers, a number of our clients are starting to focus on the task of reporting on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance for the first time. This reflects the increased momentum that has been gathering in recent years, particularly in the ASX 300. We first undertook a review […]

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30 November 2021

FIRST Edition in 2021


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Adviser. 2021 is drawing to a close with a sense of COVID-19 déjà vu. In late 2020 a new COVID variant, labelled Delta, was first identified in India. The Delta variant is characterised by mutations to the ‘spike protein’ which make it highly transmissible. The Delta variant is thought […]

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30 November 2021

Consolidation of ESG Reporting Frameworks moves a step closer


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. The big news this month was the announcement by the Chair of the IFRS Foundation, timed for release at COP26 on 3 November, of another important step towards the realization of global sustainability disclosure standards. At present there are a number of different frameworks that companies can use to guide how […]

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30 November 2021

The Decline in Traditional Shareholder Activism


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. Annual General Meeting season has just concluded and while the stats are still being collated for the final quarter, we already know that the role of climate and environmental activists in pursuing their agenda has continued to increase this year.  Data collected by Insightia from Q1 to Q3 over the past […]

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30 November 2021

Activists in Action


As 2021 winds down, we look at the meetings that we have been tracking over the past 11 months. November is always busy with listed company Annual General Meetings, however, the Extraordinary Meetings that were called this month didn’t come from shareholders, but instead from companies themselves looking to issue additional shares and make changes to […]

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28 October 2021

Why Intraday trading volumes may not impact a share register


SALONI SURI, Investor Relations Executive A common question asked by our clients is why they see more volume traded on market than captured in the investor tracking report over a period of time. Trading volumes and Underlying Beneficial Ownership Most of our clients experience large trading volumes on market but not all trading is reflected […]

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28 October 2021

PERCEPTION STUDIES TO SUPERCHARGE INVESTOR RELATIONS


BEN REBBECK, Founding Director Why you need to understand perceptions of your company The substantial resources, including staffing, technology, printing, advisers and senior management time that most companies devote to investor relations are unfortunately not unlimited. It’s therefore crucial that these scarce resources are utilised as efficiently as possible with the best IR outcomes for […]

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30 September 2021

Virtual AGMs


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Advisor Talking the talk at virtual AGMs As AGM season looms large, the Australian Federal Government has given clarity around what will be required to hold a virtual Annual General Meeting during the latter part of 2021. A key change, compared to the COVID-19 inspired temporary arrangements introduced in 2020, […]

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31 August 2021

Nailing Your Virtual Events


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations With most of Australia being plunged back into lockdown, and the August reporting season about to merge into roadshow season, there is no getting away from the fact that virtual briefings and meetings are still the only way to connect with shareholders and investors. So in this blog we explore the […]

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27 July 2021

Starting the ESG journey


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations At FIRST Advisers, we are increasingly offering advice to companies on how to best position themselves to meet investor demand for ESG accountability. What was once seen as a topic for socially conscious asset managers, is now widely adopted by investors. ESG was a hot topic at the US based National […]

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30 June 2021

The IPO Market in 2021


ROWAN CLARKE, Investor Relations The IPO market in 2020 sprang into life in October, having retreated into hibernation with the advent of COVID. The rush to list turned into a stampede as the year drew to a close with December registering a record listing in one month of 29 companies. This included large and high […]

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31 May 2021

All you need to know about Short Selling


SALONI SURI, Investor Relations Executive. Overview Short selling is a simple concept—an investor borrows a stock, sells the stock, and then buys the stock back to return it to the lender. In the period between selling borrowed stock and buying it back the investor is said to be ‘Short’ of stock, hence the term short […]

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31 May 2021

ESG at the Vanguard of proxy voting


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Advisor. The financial markets adage is if Wall Street sneezes other markets catch cold. So it is worth keeping an eye on what’s happening in US financial markets as trends there tend to inform decision making elsewhere. In this context we have been interested to note how Vanguard, one of […]

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30 April 2021

Proxy Advisors in a time of COVID


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Advisor The Coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, we canvassed the three main Proxy Advisory firms operating in Australia Ownership Matters, CGI Glass Lewis and ISS to get a sense of what impact corporate and government responses to the pandemic has had on governance and their voting recommendations. Widening […]

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30 April 2021

The Convergence of ESG and Activist forces


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director Activism during COVID A review of the impact of COVID 19 on activism globally in 2020 would suggest that it largely reinforced the trend of slowing activity that has been evident since its peak in 2018. In Australia the number of companies publically subjected to activists’ demands returned to the annual […]

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30 March 2021

How fair is your SPP?


ANNA FUGLESTAD, SHAREHOLDER ENGAGEMENT Over the past year as companies have taken advantage of buoyant equities market and COVID related exemptions to undertake capital raisings, retail shareholders have jumped on the opportunity to increasing their holdings through Share Purchase Plans. FIRST Advisers recently analyzed all Share Purchase Plans that occurred between March 2020 and February […]

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30 March 2021

Who’s really on your register?


IDENTIFYING THE BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF SHARES   ROWAN CLARKE, INVESTOR RELATIONS The ability to interrogate a company’s share register to identify its beneficial owners provides important information to Directors. In addition to identifying who is making decisions to buy and sell shares, it enables the Board and senior management to identify such things as where […]

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4 March 2021

The return of Guidance


DAN JONES, MANAGER SHAREHOLDER ANALYTICS In April 2020, we wrote that more than 80% of companies withdrew their FY20 guidance amid uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. During the February 2021 earnings season, we recommenced monitoring the results of S&P/ASX300 companies to establish to what extent the provision of guidance has been re-adopted and how companies are viewing […]

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4 March 2021

Locking in the Trust premium


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Advisor Trust in Australian Institutions has surged during the Coronavirus pandemic to reach all-time highs.  This resurgence of trust means, in Australia,  the institutions of Business, Government, Media and NGO’s are all now viewed as competent where just 12 months ago only Business was seen to be so. Two institutions, […]

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31 January 2021

Fink doubles down on climate


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communication and Media Advisor Restating that climate risk is investment risk, Larry Fink, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackrock, the world’s biggest and arguably most powerful investor, is calling for companies to share their plans for the transition to a net zero economy in his annual letter to CEOs. Mr Fink […]

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31 January 2021

ASX introduces new ‘15% Rule’


Ben Rebbeck, Founding Director Recently, the ASX announced updates to Guidance Note 8 on continuous disclosure requirements in relation to earnings guidance. While the ASX retained the framework of its existing guidance in the update, its changes to Guidance Note 8 include a new ‘15% Rule’ regarding the impact of broker consensus earnings on guidance and earnings […]

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31 January 2021

The IPO Market in 2020 – the Final Scorecard


VICTORIA GEDDES, Founding Director In September 2020 the door to the IPO market flew open and dozens of companies poured through in a rush to list before the Christmas/New Year shut down. Memories were still fresh from late 2019 when a promising IPO market was stopped dead in tracks in October as several high profile […]

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11 December 2020

2020! A year like no other


2020 was a year filled with extreme and extraordinary events. All of which played out in the context of the extraordinary global health crisis that is the Coronavirus pandemic. A year of extremes Here in Australia we endured bush fire disasters, the death of the Holden car brand and the tragedy of SAS war crimes […]

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30 October 2020

ESG Reporting among the ASX300


DAN JONES, Manager Shareholder Analytics As institutional investors increasingly demand more accountability for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, companies face pressure to improve their standards of ESG reporting. However, unlike financial data, ESG information has no legislated or regulatory reporting guidelines or formats so the mechanism for delivery and any adoption of a reporting […]

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30 October 2020

Video with vim and vigour


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor The camera never lies! A broad statement that still holds true despite the incredible advances in software to manipulate digital imagery. The cameras built into smartphones and laptops are amazingly sophisticated but are no guarantee that a video presentation will look good or be engaging. If you don’t […]

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30 September 2020

REVISITING SAME-DAY REPORTING TWO YEARS ON


Between 2016 and 2018, FIRST Advisers monitored how long companies took to release their Annual Report following the release of their Financial Results. The implementation of Same-Day Reporting has become an industry standard in terms of best practice investor relations because it reflects a commitment to release this document at a time when it has […]

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28 September 2020

The IPO window is wide open, but for how long?


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. The IPO window has unexpectedly opened after more than 18 months of subdued activity. Given the slowdown since February due to COVID-19 and the level of uncertainty surrounding the outlook for economic growth, no-one was banking on a quick return in 2020 to the levels of activity that the market had enjoyed […]

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28 September 2020

TOP TEN TIPS FOR IPO COMPANIES


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. As the market braces for an avalanche of IPOs to hit the market in the December quarter, it is time to review our playbook for IPO investor relations, to highlight just what it takes to maximise the chances of a successful life after listing. Here are our top 10 Investor Relations tips […]

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28 September 2020

Compliance update: Capital raising relief extended


This month, ASIC extended its temporary relief for capital raisings aimed to assist listed entities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to raise capital in a quicker and less costly way without undermining investor protection. The temporary measures were due to expire in October 2020. The temporary measures will now expire on 1 January 2021. The […]

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31 August 2020

Activism in 2020


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. At FIRST Advisers we pay close attention to the activist space in Australia, having worked on many campaigns for both activists and companies over the past ten years. In our monthly newsletter we have a regular slot that summarises for our readers the various activist campaigns over that month and we […]

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30 July 2020

Assessment of Virtual AGMs — Must try harder!


BEN REBBECK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR As the repercussions of the COVID pandemic started to impact the corporate sector ASIC, the Australian corporate regulator, following advice and prompting from their foreign counterparts, allowed Australian listed companies to hold fully virtual Annual General Meetings. ASIC’s pathway to enable virtual AGMs, as they were the first to admit, was […]

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28 July 2020

Corporate Purpose during the Coronavirus pandemic


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor, writing for the Winter 2020 Issue of Listed@ASX. What does the Coronavirus pandemic and the ‘new normal’, that is expected to emerge in its wake, mean for a Company’s purpose? As the pandemic surges across the globe many senior corporate leaders will, rightly, view the immediate purpose of […]

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30 June 2020

A new number 3 share registry


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications. An interview with Ben Kay, Executive Director, Automic At FIRST Advisers our shareholder analytics team works with all registries in the delivery of beneficial ownership analysis reports to our clients. We have watched the increasing penetration of Automic Group as a new player in the registry market in recent years and […]

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29 June 2020

The Tipping Point for ESG is Now (Part Two)


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. In Part 1 of our article on ESG last month* we looked at the extent to which ESG reporting has gained hold in Australia and whether the strong performance of ESG funds recently might represent a moment in time when investing according to ESG principles becomes mainstream. We introduced the Standard […]

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28 May 2020

Designs on Annual Reporting


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications. It is time to think about Annual Reports and then to think again. While an Annual Report must include content required by the Corporations Act and the ASX listing rules,that doesn’t mean we should limit our thinking to just meeting that objective. It is right and proper for the compulsory materials, […]

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28 May 2020

The Tipping Point for ESG is Now


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. The relentless push towards the adoption of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting by companies across the globe appears to be gaining momentum. As entire populations have gone into hibernation in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the topic of greatest interest in the global investment community is […]

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30 April 2020

Disclosure and guidance during COVID-19


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director. ASX Compliance Updates with some reminders on Disclosure Rules on Earnings Guidance Since the end of February 2020, ASX has released three key Compliance Updates (28 February, 31 March and 22 April) which include a raft of amendments or reminders, prompted in the main by the challenges associated with the impact […]

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30 April 2020

Getting COVID-19 capital raisings away


RON CAMERON, Investor Relations. The need to engage shareholders directly as a result of Recent Changes to Capital Raising Requirements ‘May you live in interesting times’, which is often characterised as a Chinese curse, has never been as relevant as it is today, in the time of COVID-19. Personal circumstances have been turned upside down […]

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30 March 2020

Guidance in Uncertain Times


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director Guidance and outlook statements, freshly minted from the February reporting season, are already being consigned to the waste paper basket. This makes sense when every week brings a new development that has the potential to threaten the very survival of many businesses. So what do you say to your shareholders when […]

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2 March 2020

Cybersecurity and Notifiable Data Breaches: What have the last 2 years taught us?


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director It’s exactly two years now since the Federal Government introduced its Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme. It requires every private and public company with annual turnover of $3 million or more, listed or not, to report cyber breaches that are likely to result in serious harm to individuals whose personal information […]

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28 February 2020

Australian CEOs need to take a stand


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor Australian’s don’t trust business. This is a key finding of the Edelman Trust Barometer, published on 19 February, which has been measuring levels of trust in business, Government, the media and NGOs for the past 20 years. It will be little comfort to Australian business leaders to know […]

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30 January 2020

Time to confront climate change


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor Every Government, company and shareholder must confront climate change according to Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. In his annual letter to CEO’s, Mr Fink says a rapidly growing awareness amongst investment market participants of the risks climate change poses to economic […]

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30 January 2020

Communicating in a crisis


GEOFF MICHELS, Senior Adviser, Corporate Communications One month in to 2020 and news headlines have been dominated by the bushfire crisis while the business pages have been reporting on the Australian retailing crises which has seen big brands literally shutting up shops, including the shock withdrawal of Kaufland from the Australian market. The crises in […]

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29 November 2019

CORPORATE PURPOSE


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’ is an adage that could easily be applied to the re-prioritising of a company’s Purpose as the underpinning of its culture and long term, sustainable growth. Only last August, The Business Roundtable (BRT) an American association whose members […]

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28 November 2019

Acclimatising to a new normal? – 2019 in review


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor 2019 is bookended by environmental challenges. The year began with massive fish mortalities in the Murray Darling and is ending with a devastating, early bushfire season that has impacted every state in the country. In between, on the global stage, climate activist Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech […]

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30 October 2019

Australian Activism: Down but far from out


VICTORIA GEDDES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR As we approach the end of the year with, realistically, less than two months left to launch and complete a new campaign, the stats already tell us most of what we need to know about the changing shape of activism in Australia in 2019. Activity is 20% down on last year’s […]

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30 October 2019

ASX tightens listing rules


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor “It’s important that ASX keeps evolving the listing rules so they remain contemporary, address emerging compliance issues, and continue to serve the interests of issuers, investors, and the Australian economy.” Kevin Lewis, ASX Chief Compliance Officer. A range of changes to the ASX listing rules will come into […]

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30 September 2019

THIS IS WHY MANY OF YOUR RETAIL SHAREHOLDERS DON’T VOTE


BEN REBBECK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Poor retail voter turnout is often accepted as ‘the norm’ and put down to reasons such as lack of retail investor interest to lack of company engagement. While these factors may partly contribute to poor retail voting, there is one structural cause that is relatively unknown and therefore not addressed by […]

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30 September 2019

Five ways to improve an IR website


An Investor Relations website is the critical channel through which to communicate educate and engage with investors. It should be more than a demonstration of compliance with the Corporations Act 2001 and a listed company’s disclosure obligations. It is a gateway through which to tell a company’s investment story so it is equally well understood […]

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5 September 2019

ASIC ups limit for Share Purchase Plans in a win-win for investors and corporates


RON CAMERON, SENIOR ADVISER, INVESTOR RELATIONS Markets regulator, The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), has doubled the amount that retail investors can contribute to Share Purchase Plans. The change is the result of ASIC updating the Class Order that defines how ASX listed companies can issue shares, via a SPP, to registered shareholders without […]

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3 September 2019

FIRST Advisers Annual Guidance Report – FY20


DAN JONES, MANAGER SHAREHOLDER ANALYTICS During August we monitored companies in the S&P/ASX300 Index that reported for the period ending 30 June 2019, building a picture of the approach to guidance in this market and what that guidance is telling us about outlook for FY20. Victoria Geddes, Co-founding Executive Director at FIRST Advisers said “If […]

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31 July 2019

Are you Roadshow Ready?


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director Over the next few weeks, CEOs, CFOs and investor relations professionals will be gearing up for the post results briefing roadshow. For most it will be an intensive three days, maybe 4 or 5, of meetings with shareholders, brokers and potential investors in Sydney, Melbourne and maybe one or two other Australian […]

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31 July 2019

Activism in 2019


DANIEL JONES, SHAREHOLDER ANALYTICS AND IR As we approach the traditionally busiest quarter for shareholder activism in Australia, it is time to take stock of how activists have fared to date in 2019. Has Activism in Australia peaked or just taking a breather? According to Activist Insight, in 2019 there have been 42 public activist […]

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29 June 2019

Leading with Purpose


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor We are fast approaching the first reporting season under the 4thedition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. An aspect of the new Principles and Recommendations, which we wrote about in our March 28th ‘Purpose for the Board’ blog, is the elevation of responsibility for linking a company’s […]

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29 June 2019

Is 2019 ‘The Year of the ESG Fund’?


BEN REBBECK, Executive Director The ascendency of ESG matters within Fund managers, Board rooms and with IROs has unquestionably been rising rapidly in recent years. In this context, a question we often address from Directors and IRO is: Are ESG funds just another short term market trend, like ‘Hedge Funds’ were some 5 to 10 years […]

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4 June 2019

Are Traditional Active Equity Managers Facing Extinction?


VICTORIA GEDDES, Executive Director There are two big trends emerging in funds management and both have implications for how companies engage with the shareholders on their register, target new investors and determine the optimum composition of their register for funding long term capital growth. The Rise of Passive Funds… The rise of passive funds, and in […]

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4 June 2019

Time for Proxy Advisors


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor AGM season may seem a long way off for many ASX listed companies but June and July are prime time for engaging with proxy advisors in advance of the peak months of proxy season, between August and October. Proxy advisors play a vital role in helping inform investment […]

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1 May 2019

The importance of good design


GOOD DESIGN is the difference between telling someone and showing them. It can be the difference between informing your audience or convincing them. A carefully composed image, an effectively executed graphic concept or a thoughtfully constructed layout can convert worthy content into memorable messages. We sat down with Campbell van Venrooy, a graphic designer with […]

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1 May 2019

The Do’s and Don’ts of Investor Days (Part 2)


VICTORIA GEDDES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Following on from Part 1, published in our April 2019 Newsletter, this second part of the overview of Investor Days looks closely at what the audience wants to hear i.e. the content most commonly covered and how to put together an effective presentation. What your audience wants to know Bearing in […]

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29 March 2019

Feb 2019 Guidance Review


DAN JONES, MANAGER SHAREHOLDER ANALYTICS During February we monitored companies in the S&P/ASX300 Index that reported for the period ending 31 December 2018, building a picture of the approach to guidance in this market and what that guidance is telling us about outlook for FY19. Around three quarters of companies within the S&P/ASX 300 index […]

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28 March 2019

Purpose for the Board


GILES RAFFERTY, Corporate Communications and Media Advisor A listed company’s Purpose is now, very much, a matter for Board consideration. The latest edition of the ASX’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations makes it clear the Board is responsible for linking a company’s Purpose to its strategic goals. Principle 3 states a listed entity should instil a […]

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28 March 2019

The Do’s and Don’ts of Investor Days (Part 1)


VICTORIA GEDDES, ECECUTIVE DIRECTOR With reporting season behind us for another six months and post results roadshows underway or coming to a close, companies will soon be approaching one of the few windows available in the annual investor relations calendar to focus on planning and managing an investor day. These are not spontaneous events and […]

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4 March 2019

Cybersecurity: reported data breaches surge almost 700% in 2018


As we mark the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Federal Government’s Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme, the headlines focused on cybersecurity breaches seem to be coming thick and fast. The attack in early February 2019 on the Australian Federal Parliament’s computer network, has been identified by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the work […]

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4 March 2019

ASX Governance Recommendations


ASX Corporate Governance Council (the Council) launched its 4th Edition of the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations on 27 February after more than a year of consultation. It includes input from the nineteen diverse member groups of the ASX Corporate Governance Council, including associations representing the interests of shareholder groups (ASA) and listed companies who are communicating […]

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4 March 2019

Activism in February 2019


Activists fail in Pacific Dairies board spill  Activist investor Mustafa Hasan’s attempt to replace the board at Pacific Dairies has been voted down. Hasan and fellow shareholders Dursan Cansiz, William Clarke and Necmi Uysal requested the board spill in January. They proposed replacing Directors Paul Duckett, Ray Taylor, and Chris Egan with Rhett Morson, Ping […]

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31 January 2019

February reporting preview


We entered the last reporting season in August 2018 with a high degree of optimism. That optimism was very short-lived as markets experienced a sharp sell-off in August, with actual results falling short of previous forecasts. Subsequently, news headlines have kept investors in a pessimistic mood, examples being the ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the ever-present […]

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31 January 2019

The importance of being purposeful


A well understood and expressed corporate purpose drives long term value. This is why purpose, as a driver of profitability, was a central theme of the 2019 letter from Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, the world’s largest investment manager, to the Board’s and senior managers of companies Blackrock has holdings in. It has also been the […]

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31 January 2019

Timing Matters When Releasing Results


It is important for a company to select an appropriate day when presenting its financial results.  With so many companies competing for attention from buy-side, sell-side and financial media, the correct timing of a result can be very important, especially for smaller companies. Understanding where the peaks and troughs are during a reporting season can help […]

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31 January 2019

Activism in January 2019


Dissatisfied shareholder looking to change up the board of Havilah Recourses  A meeting for Havilah Resources has been requisitioned by eight shareholders, collectively owning 8.1% of Havilah’s shares.  The shareholders are looking to replace two members of the board.  The investors seek to remove directors Mark Steward and Kenneth Williams, and have advanced Peter Johnson and […]

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29 November 2018

ACTIVISM IN NOVEMBER 2018


Centuria doesn’t get the votes to spill Propertylink’s board Centuria Capital has failed in its attempt to replace Propertylink’s board with approximately 99% of shareholders voting against the resolutions. In September Centuria requisitioned a meeting to remove Propertylink’s board and to replace it with its six-person slate.  At the time, Centuria Capital was looking to […]

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29 November 2018

AIRA 2018: The FIRST Advisers panel discussion on What Drives Activism in Australia


Valuable Advice for Companies from Successful Activists FIRST Advisers hosted the ‘What Drives Activism?’ panel discussion at the AIRA 2018 Annual Conference held in Sydney on the 23rd of November. While the video of the Conference, including this panel session, can be accessed here, there were a number of interesting takeouts from the discussion that […]

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29 November 2018

Interesting times: 2018 in review


Giles Rafferty, Media and Corporate Communications “May you live in interesting times”, is often presented as a Chinese curse and, as we enter the final month of 2018, it has certainly been an interesting year thus far. In Australia, the Banking Royal Commission has been the dominant story in the financial media during the latter […]

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1 November 2018

Has Activism Peaked or is it regrouping


Victoria Geddes, Executive Director Activism in Australia has some characteristics that are different to other countries around the world. We examine the make-up of activist campaigns in Australia compared to the global average and unpick some of the recent trends to see if there is a pattern emerging. This article is an extract from a paper […]

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1 November 2018

Annual Report – Same-Day Reporting


In July 2018, FIRST Advisers’ analysis of financial results reporting noted the continued trend by ASX 300 companies to publish their Annual Reports on the same day as their Financial Results. Termed ‘Same-Day’ or ‘Simultaneous’ reporting, we have updated our findings to see how ASX 300 companies with a June 30 balance date faired in […]

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1 November 2018

Activism in October 2018


AMP Shareholders get Active Merlon Capital Partners, a shareholder in AMP, sent a letter to its board on 29 October opposing the terms of a proposed sale of its Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses. In it they detail a number of undertakings they are seeking from the board and, if not […]

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2 October 2018

The Rising Tide of Passive Investment


Dan Jones, Shareholder Analytics and IR The popularity of passive investment amongst institutional and retail shareholders continues to grow and for good reason. Passive funds have outperformed active in each year since the GFC. The term ‘passive’, however, may well be misleading. While it does describe a manager’s approach to automated stock selection and investment, […]

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2 October 2018

Make AGMs great again!


Giles Rafferty, Corporate Communications Annual General Meetings (AGMs) have to happen, it’s the law.  Consequently, the AGM is a regular fixture in a listed company’s financial calendar when the Board can be sure stakeholders are looking their way. This also makes the AGM a valuable communication moment. There are, of course, a number of necessary […]

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28 September 2018

Activism in September


ESR and Centuria Capital battle for Propertylink ESR Real Estate has placed a $693 million cash takeover offer on the table for Propertylink.  This comes only a day after Centuria Capital requisitioned a meeting to replace all but one member of Propertylink’s board. Centuria Capital is seeking to prevent Propertylink from going through with a […]

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3 September 2018

Who, What & How Much? What FY19 Guidance is Telling Us


Dan Jones, Manager Shareholder Analytics During August we monitored all companies in the S&P/ASX300 Index that reported for the period ending 30 June 2018, building a picture of the approach to guidance in this market and what that guidance is telling us about outlook. Almost 250 companies within the S&P/ASX 300 index gave their results […]

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3 September 2018

Deal Flow – Retail Investors Have a Point of View


Victoria Geddes, Executive Director Post results reporting season is a time when investment banks start engaging their clients, in advance of the year’s end, to get mergers, spin-offs and takeovers off and running. Witness the recent TPG and Vodafone merger as well as the Coles spin-off from Wesfarmers. The merits of engaging in Proxy Solicitation […]

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31 August 2018

Activism in August


Aurora withdraws bid for takeover of Molopo After almost four years of trying to take control of Molopo, Aurora Funds Management has withdrawn its takeover bid.  Keybridge and Aurora have both separately been attempting to take over the company, however, the latest bid, which expired on the 10th of August, was withdrawn citing a ‘dramatic […]

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30 July 2018

Activism in July


MEC Resources unveils board changes Australia-based MEC Resources has unveiled a series of board changes, two weeks after surviving a proxy fight waged by a group of shareholders. Chairman Goh Hock was replaced by Michael Sandy, a former executive at Oil Search and Novus Petroleum with a background in geology. Hock will retain an advisory […]

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27 July 2018

LOOK TO YOUR GUIDANCE


Ben Rebbeck, Executive Director As we enter the 2018 results reporting season, earnings and operational guidance again becomes a topic of significant concern. Recently in the US, industry leaders including Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon joined the debate arguing that public companies should reduce or eliminate the practice of estimating quarterly earnings (EPS), as this […]

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27 July 2018

ESG IS MAINSTREAM ON MAIN STREET


Ben Rebbeck, Executive Director Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors were once the poor cousins of institutional investors’ metrics – nice to have, but not a primary driver of valuation or investment. This is no longer the case. Times have changed, investors are more sophisticated, information is more prevalent and reliable – ESG is now […]

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29 June 2018

A view from the other side of the fence


Daniel Jones, Shareholder Analytics and IR Activism was once again a hotly discussed topic at the 2018 National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) conference in Las Vegas, and with the number of large-cap activist campaigns in 2017 reaching an all-time high, it’s easy to see why. Based on my observations and discussion with professionals, an often […]

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29 June 2018

Setting the standard – ‘Same-day reporting’ of the annual report at Full Year Results


Daniel Jones, Shareholder Analytics and IR FIRST Advisers highlighted a trend amongst ASX 300 companies towards publishing annual reports on the day they announce full year results, ‘Same-Day Reporting’, in early 2017.  We have updated this analysis in order to confirm if a new standard is emerging around best practice for publishing annual reports. For […]

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29 June 2018

ASIC Review of Proxy Adviser Engagement Practices


Victoria Geddes, Executive Director Following FIRST Adviser’s ‘Time to talk to Proxy Advisers’ post last month, ASIC has published its review of proxy adviser engagement practices. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission acted after business organisations complained some proxy firms are unwilling to engage, correct inaccuracies or give time for companies to clarify errors. ASIC’s […]

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