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ShareSoc Blog

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.

There is more news given in the News page of our web site and more analysis of news is provided in our monthly newsletter for members – see the Newsletters page.

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Trouble Brewing at Hargreave Hale AIM VCT?

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I have been a shareholder in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT (HHV) for quite some time and have been happy with the tax free dividend stream they have sent me over the years. As usual, I recently received the AGM proxy form for the 3rd February AGM and was reviewing the annual report when something caught my attention. An investee company called Honest Brew (HB), which ...

Paul Myners Obituary and BHP Unification Meetings

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Lord Myners has died at the age of 73. He had a big hand in the rescue of the banks in the financial crisis of 2008 as a Treasury Minister in the Labour Government after becoming the socialists’ favourite capitalist. He was also responsible for the Myners Report into institutional investment which had some influence on corporate governance and institutional stewardship in the UK. I met ...

Laggard AGM voting farce at Go-Ahead Group

Discovery of a voting error is incredibly rare. I imagine that the fund managers who submitted the dissenting votes were on the lookout and saw something odd. Go-Ahead announced on 19 Jan 2022 that  its registrar, Equiniti,  have discovered an error in the collection of certain proxy votes submitted in relation to the resolutions put to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") held on 21 December 2021. Had these votes been included in the vote count, Resolution 4 to re-elect Adrian ...

Enabling investment in productive finance – Consultation Response

On 17 January 2022, ShareSoc and UKSA submitted a joint response to the Department for Work & Pensions November 2021 consultation "Enabling investment in productive finance - proposals to remove performance-based fees from the charge cap" where we made these points: We would like to register our deep concern about the suggestions in this consultation paper. We are seriously concerned that the DWP has failed to think these proposals through. The Ministerial Foreword says, for example, “In the last few months, the government, alongside ...

Cladding Rectification – Persimmon et al.

The views expressed in this article represent those of the author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. My first big investment mistake of the year came to light yesterday. In October last year I started to buy a holding in Persimmon (PSN). The outlook for the housing market seemed bright and the company was trading on a prospective p/e of 11 with a yield of 8.6%. Revenue and earnings growth were forecast for the next couple of years. But Michael Gove yesterday put a ...

Portfolio Review 2021 – Mark Bentley

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Introduction Following on from my review in 2020, I have now conducted a similar exercise for 2021. See last year's article for an explanation of my investment objectives, strategy, "asset types" and investment accounts. 2021 was "a year of two halves" with my holdings roaring ahead in the first half and then a bit of a rollercoaster ride since September. These market gyrations are difficult psychologically but having lived through ...

A Bumper Edition of Investors Chronicle

The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Over the Christmas period we were treated to a bumper edition of the Investors’ Chronicle. And I have to say that this magazine has improved of late under the editorship of Rosie Carr. Whether she has a bigger budget or is just picking better writers I do not know but she certainly deserved the job after working for the magazine for many years. I’ll pick out ...

Discrimination Against High Net Worth Individuals?

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc The cost of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has been increasing substantially in recent years, as more mis-selling scandals have proliferated and firms have gone bust. This has led to complaints from those firms who fund the scheme and has led the FCA to undertake a “Compensation Framework Review”. This includes looking at possible changes to the scope of protection such as limiting it to “mainstream” ...

VOTE GUIDANCE FOR EDGE AGM, GM AND REQUISITIONED GM ON 17 JANUARY 2022

The leaders of the Edge Performance VCT Campaign and the Shareholder Requisitioners of the GM and shareholder resolutions for 17 January 2022 have written to shareholders with their recommendations on how to vote at the AGM, GM and Requisitioned GM on 17 January 2022. We recommend that you vote as follows: AGM: FOR resolutions 1, 2, 4 and 5. AGAINST 3, the re-election of Sir Peter Bazalgette. COMPANY GM: AGAINST resolutions 1 and 2 (the re-election of Terry Back and Sir Aubrey Brocklebank) and ...

Baronsmead VCT – More Corporate Governance Issues

The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I mentioned in a previous blog post that covered Northern Venture Trust that “VCTs are a perpetual problem in relation to excessive management fees, poor corporate governance, and general behaviour prejudicial to the interests of shareholders”. Now we have an AGM for Baronsmead VCT (BVT) in prospect on the 16th February. As a holder I will be expressing the following concerns to the Chairman: In the ...
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