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Fund chief backs our campaign for fairer share offerings

Leading Ruffer fund manager backs campaign for companies listing on the stock market to stop excluding retail investors in favour of City institutions

A leading fund manager has backed The Mail on Sunday campaign for companies that issue shares on the London Stock Exchange to stop excluding retail investors in favour of big City institutions. 

Hamish Baillie, lead manager of investment trust Ruffer, says our Fair Play For Small Investors campaign deserves to succeed. ‘Well done you,’ he said on Friday. ‘Retail investors should be given the same access to private companies as institutional investors ahead of their listing on the London Stock Exchange.’ 

Currently, most companies that issue shares through an initial public offering (IPO) only offer them to City institutions. 

Levelling up: Most companies that issue shares through an IPO only offer them to City institutions

This is primarily because the regulations governing offers to the wider public are more onerous. 

But it means the public often have to pay over the odds for shares once they start trading, and are denied the opportunity to participate in gains when they are listed, often opening at a premium to the IPO price. 

Earlier this month, games company Devolver Digital conducted an IPO at £1.57 a share. On the first day of trading, the shares opened at £1.85 and are now priced at around £1.90. Retail investors were denied the right to buy at £1.57. 

So far, more than 1,000 readers have registered support for our campaign at One commented: ‘I have taught myself investing, yet I do not have the access to IPOs that institutions have. This puts me at a disadvantage in trying to grow my money. 

‘I completely agree with this campaign and hope the Government takes notice.’ 

Ruffer will this week offer ALL of its existing shareholders the opportunity to buy new shares in the trust.