Q1 Why can't Asset Mangers just do this in house?
Simply, their own rules prevent them from owing enough equity to unilaterally trigger legally binding minority shareholder rights. Or, in other words, no Asset Manager owns enough of a company to do this themselves (yes, not even BlackRock...).
Q2 What's in it for the clients of Asset Managers?
Asset Managers' clients, or indeed anyone with a pension, will be empowered to vote the shares in their collective investments in a way which mirrors their ethical beliefs. Individuals will also be able to simply line up their voting patterns with their favourite charities and NGOs (across a range of categories), if they prefer.
As well as this, how many people want to have to visit a different platform for each of their pensions, ETFs, or mutual funds? Citizen Shareholders is a streamlined solution to all of this.
Q3 How much do you charge?
The actual voting service we provide for free - our true value add is the ability to globally aggregate the support for externally proposed company resolutions, to trigger minority shareholder resolutions that are legally binding, thereby democratising corporate governance.
There is a nominal fee to Asset Managers, calculated based on the proportion of the fund that makes use of Citizen Shareholders.
Q4 Why would Asset Managers sign up for this?
Citizen Shareholders is a clear-cut way for Asset Managers to win market share, and maximise engagement with their customers. At present, Asset Managers are expected to make ethical decisions on behalf of millions of clients, whilst maximising their return on investment. We feel that this expectation is unfair. We want to free up asset managers to do what they do best (growing revenue), whilst empowering individuals to change the behaviour of the companies that dominate the planet.
Q5 Who wants this?
We have done a lot of polling. We offered people a choice between two funds: one in which grey men in grey suits make grey investment decisions on your behalf, and one in which you get to impact the behaviour of the companies that dominate the planet. In the worst performing demographic, over 60% of individuals would opt for a fund that allowed them to vote in line with their beliefs. Unsurprisingly, for millennials and Gen Z's, that number is off the charts.
Q6 How big is your market?
We have a total addressable market in the $100-300 billion per annum range - this being the fees earned by Asset Managers on the $40 trillion of listed equity they manage. We have a plan for signing up 100 million users in 3 years, for $100 million in risk capital. Additionally, 34% of our initial equity will go to our Community Interest Company, and 20% of every dollar we ever earn will go straight to our not-for-profit. Our long term goal is 80% market penetration.
Q7 Can you tell me more about your current raise, and discount structure for investors?
Absolutely. If you'd like to learn more about our Qualifying Financing Round (or indeed, any other aspect of Citizen Shareholders) we run several weekly investor calls. Please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org