Here’s an excerpt from the first email I wrote to Trupanion founder and CEO Darryl Rawlings on May 7, 2021 [see below] following a corporate event during which the company’s leaders made themselves available for extensive, live q&A from investors — and, notably, from the press. After questioning the company’s leaders about the just-unveiled 5-year plan, they not only seemed to welcome the scrutiny but encouraged me to attend the annual meeting in person in June. I was floored. This was an insurance company? In 2021, I attended and participated virtually – and no question was off limits.
Even general counsel Gavin Friedman, who was among the three leaders Mr. Rawlings axed in March, and the one person at Trupanion who absolutely refused to take my calls, was polite and responsive to my questions at the annual meetings. And, in spring 2022, I attended and participated in person, in Seattle–again, not as a shareholder, but as a member of the press. And once again, even Mr. Friedman engaged me.
Next week, I’ll be at the meeting again, live and in person.
According to spokesman Michael Nank, Trupanion’s annual meeting will still be open to reporters this year. However, unlike in the past years I’ve attended, there will be no questions from reporters.
Mr. Rawlings, however, has not made any statements confirming or denying a ban on questions from reporters, and given his public statements on transparency, it’s hard to imagine how he would explain this, especially given that last year, Mr. Rawlings himself nominated me for the “Best Question of The Day” award.
See some of you next Wednesday.