Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance News

This section on Corporate Governance provides investors with the latest topical news plus some informal comments and insights from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors.

Electronic AGMs and Voting

Several companies in which I hold shares are proposing to adopt new Articles of Association at their Annual General Meetings. These typically are amended to enable the holding of “virtual”, i.e. electronic ones, or “hybrid” meetings where a physical venue (or multiple ones) are also used. They can do that legally at present under the emergency regulations put in place by the Government but they are clearly anticipating a more common use of such capabilities now that everyone is more practised ...

The Ideal Board – Some Tips from First Flight

Chris Spencer-Phillips, Managing Director of First Flight Non-Executive and ShareSoc Director has written the attached useful article describing attributes of the "Ideal Board". As well as for company boards, we think it will be of interest to our members. the-ideal-board-march-2020

The New Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

The Government has introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill into Parliament. This is quite an important piece of legislation for share investors and for property investors. Insolvency practitioners will also be interested as it makes substantial changes to that area. It’s had very little media coverage though as the news channels are swamped by coronavirus news, debate over Dominic Cummings breaking the lock-down (or not depending on your point of view) and Brexit news. The Bill is being “fast tracked” through ...

Eurasia Erasure

by Mark Lauber, Director, ShareSoc Eurasia Mining is a junior mining company listed on the AIM market. Having traded in a range of 0.4 to 0.7p for the last two years, it spiked up in October 2019, reaching a price of 7.2p by the time it was suspended on 11 February. The reason given for the suspension was that clarification of the relationship with CITIC was required. On 9 April a further RNS was issued, stating that WH Ireland had resigned as Nomad, ...

Remuneration in Covid times

by Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director Executive Pay is attracting much attention. The issues were well written up in this Guardian article. Insititutional fund managers have been slow to address this issue which is of great public concern. Their representative trade body have produced weasel words with lots of opt out possibilities, eg Chris Cummings, the IA’s chief executive, said: “Investment managers expect executive remuneration to be linked to long term company performance and aligned with the experience of its employees, stakeholders and shareholders. ...

AGMs – Best practice needs to evolve

There needs to be a review of the guidance on company AGMs. In these difficult and uncertain times it is vitally important that companies continue to engage with investors, that they keep them up to date with events and foster their support and commitment. Never has the importance of the AGM been so high. It is now a month since the current lockdown due to Covid-19 was introduced. This has coincided with a particularly busy period in the annual reporting season with ...

Dividends – ShareSoc and UKSA send joint letter to FRC, FCA and BEIS

Many of our members are very concerned at the spate of recent dividend suspensions. Many members feel that private investors are much more concerned with the non payment of dividends than the problems at AGMs, about which we have blogged at length. Many members are somewhat surprised that ShareSoc have not pronounced on dividends, so it is timely to correct this. Not only are many private investors heavily dependent on dividends, so are many charities and pension funds. These points are very ...

Are Your Investee Companies Engaging Properly During This Crisis?

  PIWorld and Alma PR are conducting a survey of shareholder views on how companies are engaging with their shareholders during the dislocation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The results of this survey will be valuable in demonstrating to companies what their shareholders expect of them at this difficult time. The survey does not identify you or capture any data about you - only your views on this subject. It takes 2-3 minutes to complete. The more responses that are received the more influential ...

FT 20 April 2020, AGMs in these Covid times – ShareAction

ShareAction has written to FTSE100 Chairs, concerned that two out of three FTSE100 annual general meetings (AGMs) announced so far are going behind closed doors, indicating a trend of shareholders being shut out in the context of Covid-19. Companies including BAE Systems, HSBC and Next are holding AGMs with two members of the board physically present, without giving shareholders the opportunity to participate virtually. In contrast, Taylor Wimpey, RBS and others have taken steps to ensure that shareholders are heard and answered ...

An Urgent Call to Include Individual Shareholders in New Issues – Sign Now!

Treat all shareholders fairly. There is no need to ignore individual shareholders in raising funds. Sign the petition now https://allinvestorsmatter.co.uk The Times reported today 20 April 2020 our letter (see https://allinvestorsmatter.co.uk/) which was co-signed by Mark Northway, Chairman of ShareSoc, our Patron Lord Lee (John Lee) , PrimaryBid and an impressive list of industry heavyweights. We have been working closely with PrimaryBid on this initiative. The Times article is here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/city-chiefs-demand-fair-shares-for-equity-raises-hr9fhzzb8 This is an urgent call for UK PLCs, industry bodies, regulators, investors, ...