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House of Fraser Pre-Pack – Is It Such a Great Deal?

The acquisition of House of Fraser by Sports Direct is a typical “pre-pack” administration. In administration one minute, sold the next. The national media promptly welcomed it as the rescue of everyone’s favourite department store, the protection of 17,000 jobs and just what is needed to help save Britain’s High Streets. Mike Ashley of Sports Direct trumpeted this as a great deal. All the stores and stock were purchased for £90 million when gross assets were £946 million and the company made ...

Clarification re Stock Lending and platform pooled nominee accounts

Kevin Taylor, a ShareSoc member, has pointed out to me in relation to my article page 12 of ShareSoc’s August newsletter, that stock-lending simply does not (should not under FCA rules) take place from standard pooled nominee accounts, the likes of which most retail investors would use.  The FCA’s rules could not be more explicit in this area: “A firm must not undertake or otherwise engage in stock lending activity with or for a customer unless … the firm has obtained the consent ...

Stopping Another Beaufort Case

Readers are probably aware of the administration of stockbroker Beaufort, how PwC are running up enormous bills to the disadvantage of creditors and how they also claimed to be able to charge the bills against client assets under the Special Administration Rules. See here for more information if you are not familiar with this debacle: https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/beaufort-client-campaign/ I hope all stock market investors have already written to their Members of Parliament on this topic, not just to get the Special Administration Rules changed ...

RedstoneConnect (Smartspace Software) AGM and Branding

Today (30/7/2018) I attended the Annual General Meeting of RedstoneConnect Plc (REDS) which was promptly renamed Smartspace Software Plc at the meeting. Although there were only a few ordinary shareholders present, this proved to be an informative meeting. It was chaired by new Chairman Guy van Zwanenberg. With former CEO Mark Braund having departed recently after major disposals leaving the company to focus on the remaining software business, the new CEO is Frank Beechinor who was the former Chairman. Frank is also ...

Shareholder voting consumer platforms

The AIC are to be congratulated on this survey. https://www.theaic.co.uk/aic/shareholder-voting-consumer-platforms The survey was conducted by the lang cat on behalf of The AIC, and looks at practices with respect to voting for Investment Trust shares. But it looks to me to be a pretty good summary of their voting services for all UK shares. It seems like Fidelity have decided to follow good practice. But it seems HSBC and Bestinvest are still refusing to offer a voting solution, which is quite disgraceful. When will they ...
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