Top stockbroker hits out as retail investors face flotation shut-out

David Hellier
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ONE of the biggest names in retail stockbroking has described the dearth of new floats open to retail investors as “deplorable”.

The outburst by Keith Loudon, senior partner at Redmayne Bentley, came as The Card Factory announced it is coming to market via an issue of shares only initially open to institutions. Loudon has also written to Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of the City regulator the FCA, urging him to help retail investors become more involved in UK flotations. In his letter he writes that it would be arrogant to think such issues were too risky or complex for retail investors to understand.

Loudon said it was a “big disappointment” that Card Factory’s advisers had decided against a retail offer. “If you believe in a non-socialist economy, then you should believe that ordinary people have the right to buy shares in the leading units of the economy.”

The FCA said Wheatley will be replying to Loudon’s letter.

Personally, I do not think that this way of proceeding is in line with your ‘operational objectives.’ It may be argued that the shares/stock on offer are too risky or complex for retail investors to understand, but I consider that opinion to be quite arrogant.