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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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RBS Virtual Shareholder Engagement Meeting 25 Nov 2019 at 7pm

RBS have now announced details of their Virtual Shareholder Engagement Meeting on 25 Nov 2019 at 7.00pm, when you can listen and watch on the internet and ask questions, from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be. I hope many members will attend this meeting. To sign up and register click here You will need to submit your shareholder number. It is on your shareholder certificate. What happens if you hold your shares via a nominee?  I have asked RBS to clarify if ...

ShareSoc-UKSA Response: Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities – Call for Evidence

ShareSoc-UKSA submitted a joint response on behalf of individual investors, on 5 Nov 2019. The key points we made were: Communication by email rather than by post is now the norm and assumed as the default position. Printing annual reports and shareholder circulars and sending them to shareholders by post is no longer necessary. Postage and printing costs were some of the key drivers of the nominee system. A modern system of intermediated securities should embrace and recognise modern technology and ensure ...

FRC: Individual Shareholders Engagement Meeting 5 Nov 2019

This was an excellent event, well organised by the FRC with about 80 attendees from ShareSoc and the UK Shareholders' Association. It is very reassuring to hear the underlying messages now coming from the FRC. The significant change of approach on transparency is very much to be applauded. It is also clear that oversight of audit quality is receiving much more attention. Following hard on the heels of yesterday's presentation from David Rule, I was very pleased to see today's news alert, ...

RNS Announcement Emails and Mello Presentation

Many private investors like me have been using a service from Investegate to deliver new RNS announcements via email. But recently, and not for the first time, delivery of such announcements has been delayed, or they have not been delivered at all. This can be positively dangerous – for example I only realised that I had missed seeing one after the share price of a company I held rose sharply. Missing bad news can be even more traumatic. After complaining to Investegate ...

Exchange Market Size in Stockopedia and BHP plus RIO

I noticed that the share prices of BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) jumped this morning – at least for these behemoths of the FTSE-100 they moved substantially at 2.8% and 3.4% respectively. I only noticed because I recently purchased some of the shares in each company. These are of course very large mining companies so they are dependent on the price of metals and metal ore, particularly iron ore. The last time I looked at these companies was two or ...

Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities Consultation

I am writing to ask you to make a personal submission to The Law Commission Call for Evidence on the subject of dematerialisation, intermediated securities, shareholder rights and nominees/platforms. This is the most important issue that ShareSoc-UKSA campaigns on. Your response must be done by 5 November and submitted to By email to int-sec@lawcommission.gov.uk. Commercial and Common Law Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen’s Anne Gate, London, SW1H 9AG. I attach a copy of the official ShareSoc-UKSA  response, which runs to 38 pages. A personal ...

The Vultures are Circling – Woodford, Carpetright et al

With the demise of the Neil Woodford’s empire and the winding up of the Woodford Equity Income Fund, investors are looking for whom to blame – other than themselves of course for investing in his funds. One target is Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) and other fund platforms who had it on their recommended or “best buy” lists, including long after the fund’s problems were apparent. Now lawyers are only too glad to help in such circumstances and at least two firms have ...

Law Commission Error on Segregated Accounts

In a previous blog post on the Law Commission’s consultation on Intermediated Securities I queried their claim that all investors in nominee accounts had the option to use a segregated account (i.e. a “designated account” where your name is on the share register, not just the nominee operator’s). They claim this is mandated by an EU regulation. This is extremely important because a simple “pooled” nominee account that most stockbrokers use does not give you clear ownership of the shares. If ...

Deferred Shares Report and Voting Trends Survey

Study shows low adoption of deferred share plans Tom Gosling, Partner, PwC | Executive Fellow, London Business School | Steering Committee Member, Purposeful Company Taskforce has written a good report on executive incentives, arguing the case for deferred shares (i.e. long term share plans with no performance conditions, except in extreme conditions). It is well worth reading. Here’s the summary findings report: https://lnkd.in/d9_B8cm and the key points are below. A quarter of the UK’s biggest companies are failing to adopt the right remuneration polices ...

ShareSoc – LSE AIM meeting

On 26 Sept 2019, four ShareSoc Directors (Northway, Bentley, Spencer Phillips and Weight) met Marcus Stuttard and 4 other senior executives of LSE AIM to discuss AIM regulation. This was a wide ranging meeting which both sides agreed was very useful. We updated the LSE on the UKSA-ShareSoc merger and the ShareSoc-SIGnet merger; then proceeded to discuss the Law Commission call for evidence re intermediated securities; Auditors, ARGA, Kingman, Brydon, CMA, etc.; Change of Auditors and the need for clear RNS about ...
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