If The Hacks Are Knocking At The Door, Let Them In

Tomorrow's Business

Should hacks always be allowed entry to company AGMs? I’m bound to say the answer is yes, but I truly think it comes off badly otherwise.

Tomorrow is the annual meeting of the Woodford Patient Capital Trust, a fund that has been, to say the least, testing investor’s patience lately.

The interest in what comes out of this meeting will be high. Neil Woodford is such a big name that almost anything he does is news, especially when, like now, his performance is causing concern.

Woodford’s PR man, the likeable ex-hack Paul Farrow tells me it’s shareholders only at the AGM (in Oxford).

Would he let me in if I rocked up? He isn’t sure and says the issue has never arisen. Well, it might tomorrow…

Hacks can always get around this sort of stuff by buying one share in the firm and gaining entry that way, of course.

My point is that even if you’ve nothing to hide, the minute you say journalists aren’t allowed into AGMs it immediately looks like you have.

Suddenly, the interest in tracking down angry investors and quoting them at length rockets…

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