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.

Shareholder Rights campaign launched

Last week ShareSoc launched a campaign to improve shareholder rights with a meeting in London. It focussed on the problems associated with nominee accounts and the adopted legal requirement to replace paper share certificates with an electronic system in a few years time.

There was an impressive line-up of speakers at the meeting which included John Kay (author of the Kay Review and FT writer), Michael Kempe from Capita representing the ICSA Registrars Group, Peter Swabey from ICSA, John Lee (Lord Lee of Trafford, a well known FT writer and private investor), Cas Sydorowitz from Georgeson Inc, Paul Scott, a well known private investor and blogger and Roger Lawson from ShareSoc. A full report of this lively event, and the 30 page document given to delegates which argues the case for change, are available from this web page: www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/shareholder-rights-campaign/

The numerous problems associated with the existing voting arrangements and the use of nominee accounts were highlighted by several speakers. Shareholder engagement and activism is often thwarted to the detriment of good corporate governance. Roger Lawson emphasised the need to put everyone on the share register so that there are “Guaranteed Votes for All Shareholders” which is the title of the supporting document.

To enable investors to support our campaign ShareSoc has also launched an on-line petition which is present here: www.sharesoc.org/sr-petition.html .

Please do sign it so we can get some changes made. 

Roger Lawson

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