Collective Investments

Core VCT – another messy VCT

It is some time since ShareSoc mentioned the Core VCTs in 2015, https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/company-news/governance-in-investment-trusts-alliance-trust-baronsmead-vct-3-and-the-core-vcts/ but due to the hard work behind the scenes by Nigel Sommerville, Tim Grattan, Robin Goodfellow and others, it looks like progress is about to happen. Nigel has written up the latest developments with ShareProphets click here to read (it is free - outside their paywall) https://www.shareprophets.com/views/59458/core-vcts-a-vote-is-called-if-you-or-someone-you-know-held-these-then-please-read The Times wrote about Core on 7 Dec https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/investor-sues-over-cheap-asset-sales-n0wkxqk3f (behind a paywall). Cliff Weight, ShareSoc, Director DISCLOSURE: I have never owned shares in Core. I have ...

Edge Update: another ShareSoc success

This article represents the views of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Due to the Board's desperate desire to get rid of the I Class, they have sold the main H class asset ahead of their expected timetable under pressure from members of the ShareSoc Edge Performance VCT Campaign https://www.investegate.co.uk/edge-performance-vct--edgh-/rns/sale-of-unity-shares/202111181535248758S/ The Board is pleased to announce that the Company has realised approximately 90% of its holding in Unity Software Inc (Unity) for £10.9m in cash at an average price per share of ...

Edge VCT Campaign Update

This article represents the views of its author and not necessarily those of Sharesoc. Members of the ShareSoc Edge VCT Campaign have, on 2 December 2021, submitted new resolutions to Edge to close the company and return its funds to shareholders and to elect and remove directors. Our cover letter to Edge company secretary Robin Smeaton said: Requisition of General Meeting and Notice to circulate resolutions for that meeting Dear Robin I am sure you will not be at all surprised that shareholders continue to be ...

Companies’ attempts to block shareholder proposals – SEC moves to streamline ESG proxy voting & Edge Update

Since we have still not heard back from Edge about our requests to requisition a General Meeting and resolutions to remove Back, Brocklebank and Bazalgette and appoint Richard Roth, I have written to the Edge Company Secretary Robin Smeaton asking for an update and also quoted an interesting update from the US which readers may also find of interest. Dear Robin, Re Companies’ attempts to block shareholder proposals - SEC moves to streamline ESG proxy voting I am surprised we have not yet heard ...

More about SKIN IN THE GAME and EDGE VCT

I am a great believer in skin in the game. See for example my previous blogs https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/one-in-10-investment-trust-board-directors-have-no-skin-in-the-game/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/strategic-equity-capital-gm/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/remuneration/more-about-skin-in-the-game-and-impax/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/remuneration/iss-announce-pay-issues-survey-results/ Edge is a problem case Readers will be aware of our concerns about Edge and our recent proposals to remove 3 of the directors and propose Richard Roth as a new director. So I thought I would work out the skin in the game of the directors. The data (which is from the most recent annual report) is as follows This shows how few shares the three B's ...

Alliance Trust Resets Dividend

An announcement this morning from Alliance Trust (ATST) says that the board has concluded that an increased dividend “will benefit existing shareholders and enhance the attractiveness of the Company’s shares”. They expect the overall annual dividend to increase by 32.5% over the 2020 dividend. The proposed increase will be well covered by distributable reserves and income it is suggested although no doubt some of the extra dividend cost will come from capital. ATST had a reported yield of 1.43% last year according ...

When is a concert party not a concert party?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Today’s RNS from GHE (Gresham House plc) who own Gresham House Asset Management...

Closet Indexing – Update

This is a personal blog by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight and does not necessarily represent the views of ShareSoc. I have been concerned about Closet Indexing for some time. As have many others, eg https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/general-news/closet-index-trackers-are-you-paying-over-the-odds/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/general-news/closet-index-trackers-investigations-in-progress/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/closet-indexing/ I met with executives from the FCA on 26 July to discuss our concerns. I have also had several conversations with David Rankin from Punter Southall. The latest news is that Harcus Parker have now starting gathering claimants for a class action against Scottish Widows. They have said- Harcus Parker ...

City of London Investment Trust Annual Report

I have been reading the City of London Investment Trust (CTY) annual report in advance of their AGM on the 28th of October. This is one of my oldest shareholdings – first purchased in 2011 with an annual total return since of 11.5% p.a. according to Sharescope. Historically it has been a good performer, if somewhat boring. That’s OK but last year was a disappointing one. Has Job Curtis, the long-time manager, lost his touch? Last year the trust supplied a share ...

ShareSoc Woodford Legal Claim Webinar

Former ShareSoc Chair Roger Lawson attended the Woodford Webinar and gives his view below. I watched the ShareSoc webinar last night covering the legal claims over the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF). I never personally held any of the Woodford funds but from past experience of other similar big legal claims it was of some interest. With as many as 270,000 investors in WEIF affected it must be one of the most discreditable events in the financial world in ...