Blog

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.

If you click on any blog post, you will find an option to subscribe to the blog. Subscribing means that you will be automatically emailed, once a day, whenever any new posts are made to the blog. You can also follow us on Twitter to see tweets whenever new posts are made.


Response to Financing Growth Review

The Government is currently consulting on “Financing Growth in Innovative Firms” (otherwise known as the Patient Capital Review). It covers the perceived problems in building world-beating companies from a small size in the UK, and the ways the Government provides support to early stage companies. That typically means the VCT, EIS and SEIS schemes with their associated tax reliefs and other possible “support” programmes where the Government funds them directly.Anyone who invests in this area, directly or indirectly, should respond to ...

Foresight 4 VCT – Big Changes Needed at the AGM

ShareSoc recommends that shareholders vote against the re-election of Raymond Abbott and Michael Gray and against the re-appointment of KPMG.(NOTE: If you have already voted in favour, its not too late to change your vote and resend your proxies. Additional form(s) of proxy may be obtained by contacting Computershare Investor Services plc on 0870 703 6385.)BACKGROUND OF FAILUREForesight 4 VCT has a litany of past failures in investment performance and corporate governance.It made major £30m errors in several reserves in its accounts ...

Barclays Stockbroking Complaints

Several newspapers and on-line news services have reported this week on the debacle at Barclays. They launched a new “Smart Investor” site to replace their Barclayshare share trading service. The complaints range from failure to advise new account log-in details, support service uncontactable, old features missing (or perhaps simply moved elsewhere and not easily found in some cases), higher charges (fees restructured), to some account types or share holdings being no longer permitted.Barclays have integrated it with their on-line bank account ...

ShareSoc Responds to the LSE’s AIM Discussion Paper

On 11th July, the London Stock Exchange published a discussion paper (AIM Notice 46) with suggestions for modifications to the AIM rules and handbooks.We are pleased that the LSE has responded to our call for an improvement in standards on the AIM market, as set out in our AIM Campaign and have in turn responded to the discussion paper. Our full response (12 pages) goes into considerable detail and can be read by clicking here. Prior to submitting the response ShareSoc Directors ...

Sophos, Interquest and Government Policy

Yesterday I missed the Sophos (SOPH) AGM due to having a clashing engagement, but I noticed that in the announcement of the voting results that there were substantial votes against the Remuneration Report (29.8% against) and also high votes against most of the directors. One only needs to glance at the Remuneration Policy to see why.The maximum bonus opportunity is 200% of salary, and the maximum LTIP award is 500% of salary in normal circumstances and up to 750% in exceptional ...

Investment styles – Phil Oakley, Richard Beddard and Roger Lawson

Last week Phil Oakley, who mainly writes for ShareScope/SharePad, published a very interesting article entitled “A Blueprint for Better Long Term Investing”. This described his investment style in essence and contained lots of good tips from an experienced stock market analyst. For example: “Focus on businesses not stocks”, “Don’t overpay for quality companies” and “Avoid information overload”. It’s well worth reading and is here in full: Oakley-ArticleExperienced investor Richard Beddard also joined that company recently and published an article entitled “Shares ...

Another Fat Cat Payoff at Hunting

On 7th April, Hunting announced the retirement of CEO Dennis Proctor: https://www.investegate.co.uk/hunting-plc--htg-/rns/retirement-of-dennis-proctor-as-chief-executive/201704070700088531B/This follows a very difficult period for the company and its shareholders, as it suffers from sharp cutbacks in CAPEX by the oil & gas industry.I was shocked to read this today: https://www.investegate.co.uk/hunting-plc--htg-/rns/directorate-change-and-remuneration-disclosure/201709010700054964P/ A payment of US$1,688,350 will shortly be made to Mr Proctor which includes US$785,600 related to his service contract obligations with the balance reflecting a settlement in connection with the cessation of employment.  (in addition to which Proctor retains ...

Vested Interests Win a Battle… but We Will Win the War!

In a speech made in 2016, Theresa May said: ...And I want to see changes in the way that big business is governed. The people who run big businesses are supposed to be accountable to outsiders, to non-executive directors, who are supposed to ask the difficult questions, think about the long-term and defend the interests of shareholders. In practice, they are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team and – as we have seen time and ...

Government delivers a damp squib on executive pay

Press Release 97 - Joint Press Release from UKSA and ShareSocBizarre move to publish register of pay offenders managed by non-independent industry fund manager body the Investment Association Positive steps re Stakeholders via FRC consultation on S172 reporting Retail shareholders have been ignored again.The government's long awaited package of reforms on corporate governance was published this morning. The main components of the reforms had already been widely 'leaked' to the media. This morning's publication confirms that the proposals fall well short ...
Page 1 of 6912345...102030...Last »