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The mid register: The missing link in optimising on-market performance.

It is no secret that a company's top 20 shareholders have a disproportionate impact on the success or failure of its future. IR programs are optimised to ensure that a company's management team and board of directors have a healthy relationship with these key shareholders.

However, our analysis of the shareholder data at over 80 ASX companies has revealed that there is an overlooked group of shareholders that have almost double the impact of top 20 shareholders. This group accounted for 49% of the value of all traded volume over a 30 day period - we call this group the "mid register".

The false sense of security in top 20 shareholders.

One of the biggest misconceptions in capital markets is that taking care of your top 20 shareholders is enough to fuel share price growth. Whilst this was true enough in the 20th century, the popularity of investment apps and the decline of "investment under advice" from retail investors has led to stronger representation of retail shareholders in the register.

The top 20.

It remains true that a company's top 20 shareholders, who represent less than 1% of shareholders, own an average of 43% of issued stock. This group is important: they typically buy off-market in large parcels and, as a result, can be key to quality of a company's capital raise outcomes. However, this same group has limited influence when it comes to volume and share price.

Retail.

Retail, on the other hand, has the opposite impact on a company: they can have limited influence on capital raise outcomes but determine the majority of liquidity and share price movement. Whether a retail shareholder owns 1,000 or 500,000 shares, however, rarely influences how a company engages with this group - for the most part, every retail shareholder is treated in the same way.

Splitting retail into two sub-categories.

Our analysis reveals that companies must be more nuanced in how they engage with retail shareholders, and instead split this group into two segments: the "long tail" and the "mid register".

The mid register.

As a segment, the mid register hold both the largest amount of stock and represent the highest value of shares traded. Representing 24% of a company's shareholders, this group is accountable for 49% of value traded - that's anywhere from $2k to $42k of the majority of a public company's daily trading volume.

For companies that are looking to optimise liquidity or build upwards share price momentum, the mid register presents a strong segment to target with investor communications and relations efforts. Importantly, the mid register is easily identifiable: it is the ~24% of your register that holds the most shares outside your top 20.

Total shareholdersMid register shareholders
400Shareholders #21 to #116 (96 total)
1,000Shareholders #21 to #260 (260 total)
5,000Shareholders #21 to #1,220 (1,220 total)
10,000Shareholders #21 to #2,420 (2,420 total)
20,000Shareholders #21 to #4,820 (4,820 total)

Of course, every company is different and it is crucial to use registry data to define the mid register in more exact terms that suit the registry makeup and strategic needs of the company. For example, companies with low liquidity might benefit from a broadly defined mid-register, whilst others with healthy liquidity might tighten their mid register to only include shareholders with $100k+ in shares held. 

The good news for public companies is that InvestorHub makes identifying the mid register simple: our registry integration means that defining the mid register as simple as using the intelligence hub features. Combined with our direct-to-investor marketing tools and strategic support, InvestorHub is a proven tool for engaging the mid register with 61% of all verified hub shareholders falling into this segment.

The long tail.

The long tail make up approximately 75% of a company's registry and are arguably the least valuable shareholders. That said, they are responsible for almost 1/4 of the value of shares traded, so not having a strategy to engage them is ill advised.

The majority of companies engage this market indirectly via press and third party intermediaries. Whilst this approach has its upside, InvestorHub data shows that adopting a direct-to-investor marketing strategy for this group increases the average value of this group by 139%. Using the InvestorHub D2I features, such as interactive investor hubs, interactive announcements, and email and social media campaigns, are recommended as a way to increase the conviction of this group.

Direct to investor marketing to engage the mid register.

The mid register presents an immediate opportunity for most companies looking to optimise their on-market performance. Whether a company wants to increase liquidity, decrease sell pressure, or simply attact more new buyers, defining the mid register and using D2I marketing to engage it is a highly efficient approach that company's of every size can adopt.

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