ASX and Cochlear Chairman Rick Holliday-Smith (Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)

ASX and Cochlear chairman Rick Holliday-Smith is an old-school businessman who doesn’t enjoy the media limelight but has a stellar reputation for making the right calls and delivering for shareholders.

Come Monday, when the Cochlear board meets by way of video conference, Rick and his fellow Cochlear directors have a tough but obvious decision to make with regards to the treatment of their 34,000 retail shareholders.

Cochlear sold $880 million worth of discounted stock to institutional investors in an institutional placement on March 25, including an extraordinary $304.5 million to a London-based fund manager called Veritas Asset Management which didn’t own a single share in the company in January, but was previously a substantial holder back in 2014.