Polar Capital Technology Trust AGM and Board Apprentices

I attended the Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT) Annual General Meeting via the Lumi AGM platform today. This was an exemplary example of how to run a “hybrid” AGM with 8 attendees on-line and 4 shareholders physically present. Questions came from both sources, voting was on-line and there were no technical hitches.

The low attendance was probably because we are in the holiday season I would guess. But it proved a useful meeting anyway with a good presentation from fund manager Ben Rogoff. He is always worth listening to and his video presentation should be available on-line, or you can read the Annual Report of the company where he covers technology trends and there is also a supplement on “Hybrid Work” that covers the WFH impact. If you want to keep up with technology trends, Ben’s annual reports are essential reading.

PCT increased the NAV per share by 45% last year but the share price discount has recently widened so the company has been buying back shares – it’s now on a discount of 7.3%. Technology shares have gone out of favour, or some profit taking has happened.

In response to a question about his own holding in the company, Ben said he had been buying shares recently. So have I as I still think technology shares are good value for the long-term.

An interesting aspect of PCT is that they do have a “board apprentice”. The person appointed is not a formal director but attends all board meetings as an observer. This enables them to learn how boards operate and otherwise gain an education. There is an organisation who can provide candidates for such roles – see https://www.boardapprentice.com/

As I said in a previous blog post, there are better ways to increase diversity than imposing quotas for females or other categories on the board. Education is the key. Appointing board apprentices is certainly a better way of improving diversity which I wholeheartedly support.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson  )

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