Shareholder Democracy

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 ...

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 ...

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...

Scrapping Share Certificates and Clive Sinclair Obituary

This article represents the views of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc The Government is to push ahead with the scrapping of paper share certificates. An announcement yesterday by Lord Frost included this in a bonfire of regulations which also included plans to scrap driving licences (i.e. making them digital only). The dematerialisation of shares was long ago committed to by an EU directive with no new paper certificates to be issued by 2023 and all existing ones replaced by ...

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Proposes Name Change – Roger Lawson says Vote Against!

This article represents the views of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. The Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) is proposing to change its name. The managers are currently Aberdeen Standard Fund Managers Limited but the name “Standard Life” has been sold to Phoenix Group so a change of name is not unreasonable. Of course this is the kind of problem that arises when a trust is named after the fund manager. It also causes problems if the board of directors ...