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London Stock Exchange poised to list first company with all-female board

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An investment trust focused on renewable energy due to float next month is understood to be the first company with an all-female board to list on the London Stock Exchange.

Atrato Onsite Energy, which said it wants to raise £150m by listing in London next month, is run by three women who make up its board, surpassing voluntary targets for getting more women into senior roles across most of FTSE companies.

It marks another victory for diversity advocates pushing for greater representation for women across the top tier of British business. While there is limited data covering the gender makeup of boards throughout the entirety of the London Stock Exchange’s history, which dates back to 1608, it is understood that there are currently no companies with all-female boards listed in London.

The government-backed Hampton-Alexander review revealed in February that it had achieved its target of 33% of board positions at FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firms being held by women by the end of 2020.

Twenty-one percent of FTSE 100 boards and 32% of FTSE 250 boards had yet to reach the target, while progress across executive leadership teams – covering executives directors and those who report to them – also lagged behind the 33% target at 29.4%.

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The Atrato chair, Juliet Davenport, the head of its audit committee, Marlene Wood, and the non-executive director Faye Goss will oversee Atrato’s operations. It will primarily invest in solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roofs of warehouses, factories and other industrial buildings.

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Atrato said its investment in solar panels and related infrastructure would help companies reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills while also offering investors a stable income stream based on green investments. The firm said investors could expect annual dividends of 5p a share, as part of a larger return on investments of 8%-10%.

“The UK’s binding net zero emissions target in 2050 and the resulting future demand for green energy means that additional generation from low carbon sources such as rooftop solar is growing,” Davenport said. “The company will play a leading role in providing new green power capacity, delivering businesses a dedicated clean energy supply at a low fixed cost.”

The trust is expected to launch its initial public offering by the end of November under the ticker name ROOF.