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Ince Shareholder Analytics: Who, What, Why and How?

Sol Bhorat has, for a very long time, been passionate about providing JSE-listed companies with very good service in terms of the analysis of their share registers. This led to his engagement with Ince and a joint venture – Ince Shareholder Analytics – was born. 

Suleiman (Sol) Bhorat is an outdoorsy, family-oriented guy who was born in Johannesburg before his family relocated to Cape Town. He completed a BSc in Economics and Mathematics through the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) and the University of Southern Africa. 

After graduating, he joined a company called Symphony Investor Communications, which provided ancillary corporate services to JSE-listed companies including shareholder analytics and BEE verification and consulting. Over time, Bhorat became the head of the shareholder analytics division and was a SANAS accredited B-BBEE Verification Technical Signatory as well. 

The shareholder analytics division was later sold off to Singular Systems, at which point, Bhorat moved across, continuing to run the division. He became exposed to the I.T. side of the business, becoming more involved with SQL databases and Java application.

Bhorat then resigned from his position as a senior manager at Singular Systems and while serving out a restraint of trade period, he joined a BEE verification company and founded a BEE ownership consultancy providing services to JSE-listed companies, their subsidiaries, and other companies with complex ownership structures. 

The measurement and verification of B-BBEE ownership of JSE Listed companies are exceptionally technical. It requires the ability to analyse the share registers as well as knowledge of the regulation surrounding the measurement of B-BBEE Ownership. There are not many individuals around with both sets of skills – that can overlay what is required from a BEE point of view, and analysis of a listed company share register. 

What is the purpose of shareholder analytics? 

Shareholder analytics serves a multitude of purposes: 

  • It’s a regulatory requirement to report on your shareholder base, at least annually, in a specific format, as dictated by the JSE listings requirements.  
  • From an investor relations point of view, it’s important to know who your shareholders are.
  • From a B-BBEE regulatory stance, it is imperative to be able to maximise existing B-BBEE Ownership and determine the most efficient way to improve the percentages and scores.

In a listed environment, there is a lot of liquidity and shareholder bases are very dynamic, in that they can change daily. As an issuer, you need to keep your eye on who your shareholders are because ultimately, you could end up in a situation where pricing gets affected by shareholders dumping your stock. It’s just excellent corporate governance to not only be aware of who your shareholders are but also taking it to the next level and engaging actively with those shareholders. 

The media can sometimes paint an inaccurate picture of what goes on in businesses and it’s important for managers of these companies to engage with their shareholders, to let them know what the plans are going forward, the reason for results being good or bad, etc. Before you can start engaging with shareholders, you need to identify who they are – and that’s what shareholder analytics is all about. 

The power of information 

Ince Shareholder Analytics does some interesting analyses where data occurring in other spaces is overlaid. An example of this would be an insurance company that is interested in engaging with its shareholders; it would be a good idea for the company to have a look at what the shareholder base of their competitors and peers looks like and compare it to their own share register. 

Through this, they could come to the realisation, for example, that a large fund manager is not as invested in their company as they are in a very similar peer of theirs. This is powerful information because then the company could contact the fund manager and engage with them further to determine what the market-feel for their stock is and understand why the institutional investor would choose their peers over them. 

This data-feeder type of service that goes into the investor relations space is very important. Historically, investor relations have been considered a “who-you-know” type of industry. As the years have progressed, it has become a lot more technical and data-oriented, so it’s important to have all the information necessary as it pertains to shareholding in a company. 

BEE Requirements 

To adhere to regulations, a listed entity needs to be able to be to measure and identify the extent to which their shareholding is black, and this process can also become exceptionally technical. There are many different methodologies companies can apply, and the BEE codes allow for various methodologies. 

To obtain as many points on a BEE verification scorecard can be very costly, from an ownership point of view. As such, it’s always a good idea, before going into a large BEE transaction, to determine exactly what the base is, in order to make an informed decision. 

Ince Shareholder Analytics empowers management to make more informed decisions based on actual analysis and data.   

 What sets Ince Shareholder Analytics apart? 

The fact that Ince Shareholder Analytics makes use of its own proprietary software, is a major differentiator. The reports produced using this software are highly customisable, which is rare to find among competitors. At Ince the cue is taken from the issuer-client, and what it is that they would specifically like to focus on. Ince follows the client’s lead, as opposed to leading them on a route that’s not necessarily appropriate to them. 

Ince Shareholder Analytics is fully South African based, run and operated and many positive implications run with that. The team involved in the Ince Shareholder Analytics team has collectively over 30 years of experience and very good B-BBEE credentials. The pricing on the service is also extremely competitive.

Email marketing@ince.co.za or call us on +27 11 305 7300/7328 if you’d like to find out more.

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