We have been a consistent booster of shareholder identification programs from our very first issue: It’s simple: You cannot possibly communicate with investors effectively if you don’t know who they are...and what their top issues are.
We are much less enamored with those so-called “investor targeting programs” however, mainly because where large and/or sophisticated investors who don’t own your stock are concerned, there is usually a reason for it - and THAT is what you really need to know – way before you try to treat them as “targets.”
As we also been remind regularly, your shareholder profile can and will change – virtually overnight – if there’s an “issue” or a potential “fight”...And, please note, there are limitations on how much it is legally/ethically possible to know in a timely and reasonably accurate way.
If you have a decent “baseline” of information however, you can almost always detect potentially troubling activities such as large sales – or accumulations – and potentially troubling short positions. And you can, of course, reach out to investors you’d like to have in your stock, to find out why they are not there. The best “Shareholder Identification” firms will also have a very good idea of how your major shareholders usually vote on proxy proposals, and will usually know the best people to contact if you want to “engage” – as well as the folks who probably won’t want to engage with you at all.
The biggest thing to beware of – whether you’re buying I-D or one of those “Targeting Services” that purport to identify important potential investors in your stock is to think you can buy a “magic box” that will do all the work for you, make all the current info completely available to you, and somehow make all the answers pop out.
There is simply no substitute for PEOPLE here; people who can help you to gather, analyze and interpret your ownership data, strategize on the ‘what ifs’ and develop the right game plan for your specific situation…and who are well aware that there is a lot of data that simply can’t be legally dug out, despite one’s best efforts.