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.

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 ...

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 ...

Northern Venture Trust and Other VCTs

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Northern Venture Trust (NVT) recently published their Annual Report. It shows that the manager (now Mercia) collected a performance fee of £2.5 million which on my calculation raised the overall fees and expenses as a percentage of closing net asset value to 4.5%. This is way too high in my opinion even allowing for the work involved in managing a portfolio of small, unlisted investments. When ...

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 ...

MORE EDGE PERFORMANCE VCT NEWS…

ShareSoc and the ShareSoc Edge VCT Campaign are not the only ones upset with the way Edge Performance VCT is being managed. Nigel Somerville and Tom Winnifrith at ShareProphets...

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 ...

FCA AGM questions – Response to ShareSoc question on financial education

Asking a question at an AGM is often a good way to get access to the Board and force them to engage on a key issue.  This approach worked well with the FCA, where I submitted three questions and one of which, on financial education, was answered in the live part of the meeting. Page 18 of the written record of the meeting records that I asked FCA Chair Charles Randell: Will the FCA support greater financial education in schools and in the wider world, ...

ISS announce pay issues survey results

This article represents the view of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc The issue of skin  in the game and executive pay and how this impacts future share price (and dividends) performance is a crucial one. My favourite quote is from Charlie Munger "you show me the incentives and I will show you the behaviours". So when leading proxy advisor firm ISS announce their plans for next year, it is well worth looking at them. Please note these are their US ...