The idea behind PrimaryBid was simple enough: to give individual investors and shareholders a chance to participate in capital raising deals alongside larger institutional investors. A report from the Quoted Companies Alliance shows that 48 per cent of the retail investors it surveyed wanted access to these often discounted ‘primary market’ share placings (hence PrimaryBid). It seemed odd that they weren’t included already.
We’d do it with technologies that people take for granted everyday, but were not available 10 years ago. Investors would get instant notifications when companies they follow were raising capital. They’d get the chance to subscribe for shares, even when deadlines were tight. And by aggregating this retail demand into one pot, we’d convince the banks, brokers, lawyers and regulators – the guardians of London’s listed market ecosystem – that it was now easy for them to include retail in all deals. Not just easy, but also the right thing to do, meaning better outcomes for individuals and issuers just as the ‘Governance’ in ‘ESG’ was at risk of being forgotten. Our plan was to make retail inclusion the default rather than the exception.