Of interest to many an AIM company secretary wishing to ensure compliance within their organisation will be disciplinary action recently taken by the AIM Disciplinary Committee (ADC) in relation to an AIM company breaching rules by failing to provide its nominated adviser (nomad) with “information reasonably required to carry out the nomad’s responsibilities”.

AIM company punished for not seeking nomad advice

A notice issued by Head of AIM Regulation Nilam Statham stated that “pursuant to section C2.2 of the AIM Disciplinary Procedures and Appeals Handbook”, the disciplinary committee had made the decision to privately censure and fine an AIM company £75,000 due to contravening AIM Rule 31.

It added that the London Stock Exchange would publish details of the disciplinary action “on an anonymous basis, for the purpose of emphasising to AIM companies the importance of its obligations to liaise with its nominated adviser pursuant to AIM Rule 31.”

Not only had the offending AIM company failed to provide its nomad with a satisfactory amount of information, according to the notice, but it had also been guilty of “failing to seek its nomad’s advice regarding compliance with the AIM Rules when it was appropriate to do so.”

Business developments “need to be shared openly”

The ADC held that the company should have informed its nomad and sought advice regarding various business developments, and that it was inappropriate for the company to judge whether or not the business developments were disclosable solely on the basis of its own assessment of its obligations under the AIM rules, without referring to its NOMAD.

Among the disciplinary committee’s other conclusions was that “it was not sufficient for the Company simply to send agendas and minutes of board meetings to its NOMAD, without any context or conversation, and assume that such actions discharged the Company’s AIM Rule 31 responsibilities. Developments within the business need to be shared openly and fully with the Company’s NOMAD, and advice sought from the NOMAD.”

The notice warned against a narrow interpretation of Rule 31, stating that it “should be interpreted purposefully, requiring an AIM company to provide full, timely and regular information to its NOMAD, given that the fundamental purpose of AIM Rule 31 is to ensure that the NOMAD is kept fully aware of developments and can fulfil its regulatory role and responsibilities”.

Enlist the services of the most capable AIM company secretary

Such disciplinary action should serve as a crucial reminder to AIM-listed companies of the value of the right company secretary to advise them on the achievement and maintenance of good governance and compliance with AIM rules.

Contact our team today to learn more about the benefits that an AIM company secretary from London Registrars could bring to your firm’s operations.

February, 2017