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Sep 17, 2012

Finland’s Technopolis plans virtual retail conference across nine offices

Real estate company wants to help level playing field between retail and institutional investors

Technopolis, the Finnish real estate company, is planning an innovative virtual conference for retail investors in November that will take place across nine of its offices.

The Helsinki-listed small cap will open its fixed video conferencing rooms to private investors from around Finland, giving them the chance to meet management, hear presentations and ask questions.

Video conferencing suite
One of Technopolis' video conferencing suites

Pasi Hiedanpää, IR and communications manager at Technopolis, says the ‘mini capital markets day’ makes sense for a company that already makes extensive use of its conferencing equipment.

‘We are doing this internally every week,’ he says. ‘I am in a video conference with the company five times a week. Then I realized, as we have this equipment, why don’t we utilize it for investors?’

Currently, there are only 100 spaces available across the nine offices, although Hiedanpää says he will make more conferencing rooms available if there is demand.

The event is being marketed by a Finnish private investor association, which has sent invitations out to all its members.

Control room
A second Technopolis video conferencing room

For Hiedanpää, the benefits of the virtual conference include opening up access to investors across Finland and also leveling the playing field between retail and institutional shareholders.

‘It enables investor equality,’ he says. ‘Usually retail investors do not get management time and thus the information asymmetry between them and institutional investors has been spreading. Hopefully, this kind of action will shrink the information gap a bit.’

When the time for the event comes around, it’s unlikely Technopolis management will be phased by appearing on camera, given they already hold regular board meetings via video conferencing.

‘Part of our board is located in Oulu, in the northern part of Finland, and part in the Helsinki area, so meetings have been carried out by video for two years,’ says Hiedanpää.

Both CEO Keith Silverang and CFO Reijo Tauriainen are scheduled to make presentations during the conference. Silverang is one of Finland’s only foreign-born corporate chiefs, hailing originally from New Jersey, USA.