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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.

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Portfolio Adviser, 5 March 2021
Press coverage of Leigh Day Letter Before Action

A ShareSoc news item by Cliff Weight, Director. Portfolio Adviser carries a detailed report on Leigh Day sending its Letter Before Action (LBA) to Link in relation to the Woodford debacle, with quotes from ShareSoc Chair Mark Northway. “It’s fantastic news that another critical milestone has been hit in Leigh Day’s legal claim against Link. We are delighted for Woodford WEIF investors and gratified that we have endorsed this claim,” said Sharesoc chairman, Mark Northway. “Sharesoc reviewed the various potential claims and concluded that ...

FT, 4 March 2021
Private investors lose out in corporate bids

A ShareSoc news item by Cliff Weight, Director Private investors lose out in corporate bids- Takeover Panel must change rules to compel companies to disclose acquisition approaches sooner ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee is campaigning for better disclosure in relation to takeover bids and has written this excellent detailed article in the Financial Times. There have been a number of occasions when individual investors have lost money by buying or selling shares when they were not privy to information which arguably should have been disclosed to ...

House of Commons Treasury Committee
Future of Financial Services Enquiry
Consultation Response

A ShareSoc news item by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight ShareSoc and UKSA submitted a joint response on 19th February 2021. In summary we said: A long history of regulatory failures demonstrates serious deficiencies in the way financial services are currently regulated. The UK’s departure from the EU means that the UK can now set its own financial services rules, untrammelled by the views of 27 other countries. We believe that major changes are required, particularly in the following areas: Making the best ...

HM Treasury Financial Services
Future Regulatory Framework Review
Phase II Consultation Response

A ShareSoc news item by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight The fundamentals of financial regulation are under question Recent regulatory failures (for example Woodford, the mis-selling of mini-bonds peddled by London & Capital Finance, Wellesley, and the failure to protect pensioners being pressured by advice on pension transfers from commissioned agents) have forced a welcome review of current practice. ShareSoc and UKSA are responding to make sure the interests of ordinary savers and investors are properly safeguarded. Two separate consultations are in progress, for HM ...

Don’t let the governance guard down in IPO razzmatazz

ShareSoc Member Barry Gamble has contributed this article. Background My recent Financial Times letter  “Don’t let the governance guard down in IPO razzmatazz” argued against relaxation of the governance requirements under the listing and AIM rules. Thirty years ago the scandal surrounding the business affairs of publisher Robert Maxwell prompted the Cadbury report. This defined corporate governance as “the system by which companies are directed and controlled.” Numerous other reports, directives, rules, regulations, prescribed checklists and best practice guidance have followed since. This confection, including ...

Retail Investor Participation in IPOs – A Good Thing?

Shares magazine have reported that the CEOs of major platform operators AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor have written to Government Minister Jon Glen asking him to consider the rights of retail investors in IPOs. Long gone are the days when new company listings were advertised in newspapers and retail investors could subscribe, and frequently “stag” the issue to make a quick profit. Nowadays institutional investors are typically offered shares in a placing and retail investors are excluded from participating. The ...

Telegraph, 23 Feb 2021, How to use your broker to hold your investments to account

The Telegraph wrote a useful article about AGMs and voting. see https://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/shares/use-broker-hold-investments-account/ It was headed How to use your broker to hold your investments to account But the real story was in the byline - Stockbrokers require investors to jump through lots of hoops to register their vote. It also explained the problems and quoted ShareSoc: However, new investors might not know that owning company shares comes with part ownership of a company – and with it the right to vote on issues at their annual ...

Woodford Campaign Update 3
21st February 2021

1. ShareSoc and Mello Events will present a free event, Woodford Debacle – Reflections, Redress and Reform from 6pm to 8.30pm on 9th March. We will review in detail what went wrong with Woodford, the various claims for redress and what steps investors should take, including how to claim. 2. ShareSoc’s Press Release of 6 February formally launched our Campaign just before Neil Woodford announced his “apology” and his return to fund management. 3. Leigh Day, whose claim ShareSoc has endorsed, has secured ...

Press Release 118: Woodford investors
What should you do now? Is compensation possible?
Free 9th March Webevent

  The extensive Woodford coverage of recent days has highlighted the fact that most potential claimants didn't know and weren't being told of the options for redress available to them. Half a million Woodford Equity Income Fund investors now need to do three things: Join ShareSoc's Woodford Campaign. Register for the March 9th Webinar - covering the background to the Woodford Debacle and how investors can claim redress. Join Leigh Day's claim #WoodfordPayback. ShareSoc, the highly influential investor lobby, believes ...

Scottish Investment Trust Review

One of my contacts has asked me to look at the Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN). This is a self-managed global investment trust which seems to have the same problems that Alliance Trust had before they had a revolution. Namely persistent under-performance. As a result, it is trading at a discount of 10.4% to the net asset value despite doing considerable share buy-backs in the last few months, presumably to try and control the discount. But as we saw at Alliance Trust, ...
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