This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

(Nearly) 20% Vote Against Strategic Equity Capital (SEC) AGM Resolution

19.25% of votes cast were against the continuation of SEC, 13.8% and 12.9% respectively were against the reappointments of SEC Chairman Richard Hills and Richard Locke as director.

See https://www.strategicequitycapital.com/sites/default/files/proxy-voting-results-2020_0.pdf

The RNS announced but did not mention the actual votes cast.

Strategic Equity Capital PLC announces that at the Annual General Meeting held on 11 November 2020 all 14 resolutions proposed were duly passed.

Although the ordinary resolution for the continuation of the Company was passed comfortably, the Directors are cognisant of the fact that a number of votes were cast against continuation. The Chairman has recently met with several of the Company’s major shareholders and the Board will continue to engage with shareholders to seek to address any concerns that have been raised.

So I thought readers would like to know! 41.34 million shares out of a total of 63.3million were voted (65%). Of those that voted 19.25% voted against. If we did not have to suffer the disenfranchisement of shareholder rights, this vote could well have been affected and the 20% threshold that the UK corporate governance code views as important could have been crossed. The inability to cost effectively and quickly communicate to all shareholders, including those who hold via nominee, is a very real problem and this case is yet another example of this problem that needs to be resolved asap.

Nevertheless, an important warning shot across the bows has been made.

The Law Commission report published this week is a step in the right direction. Their nudges for companies to collect email addresses to help them communicate with shareholders will help with shareholder engagement, but do nothing for cases where the directors have raised the drawbridge and are refusing to listen to shareholders.

Further background to the SEC case is in this blog https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/investment-trust-discounts-what-to-do-about-them-and-sec-example/

Cliff Weight, Director ShareSoc

DISCLOSURE: The author is a shareholder in SEC.

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