Shareholder Democracy

The Advantages of Investment Trusts

The AIC has issued a video which spells out some of the advantages of investment trusts over open-ended funds. They spell out that with most investment products you don’t have a say, but with investment trusts you do because you can vote on important decisions about how your company is run and what it invests in. You can also attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to meet, and question, the board directors and the investment manager. Investment companies also have independent ...

Shenanigans in Siberia: the Petropavlovsk Saga and Why Retail Investors Matter

One of ShareSoc’s key beliefs is that private investors are important and their voice needs to be heard. The current, for want of a better word, shenanigans, at Petropavlovsk (POG) gives private investors a key role in determining the future of a company. Background Books could be written about POG, and probably deserve to be. It is a gold miner in Siberia, whose shares rose to above £5 in 2011, before collapsing under the weight of debt and being rescued by an emergency ...

RBS Virtual Shareholder Event, Thursday 16 July 2020

I am looking forward to this virtual shareholder event and have registered. RBS had a closed AGM (due to Covid) and promised this event for retail shareholders so they could ask the questions they would have liked to have asked at the AGM. Now is your chance to listen to RBS management and ask your questions. To secure your place, please register by 10th July here if you know your SRN (shareholder registration number which you can find on your share certificate). You will then receive a confirmation ...

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 ...

AGMs – a great webinar from CSFI

I think you will find this well worth listening to. It is 46 mins. It is a bit technical, so educational for some ShareSoc members and intellectually stimulating for others. CLICK HERE TO WATCH The CSFI has produced a new discussion, titled 'Virtual AGMs: just the start of overdue changes in the way companies communicate with shareholders' Why you should watch: Technology has made it easier to run virtual AGMs, but barriers remain between the end investor – especially in pooled accounts – and ...

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 ...

Unsatisfactory Avast AGM, and Designated Accounts

I “attended” the Avast (AVST) Annual General Meeting today. This was of course held on-line using Zoom with only one director in physical attendance (Warren Finegold) who chaired the meeting. Zoom seems to be becoming the de facto standard for on-line meetings. The Chairman of the company, John Schwarz, gave a brief presentation backed up by some slides. To summarise, it was another strong year of growth and profitability. A new CEO is now in place. EBITDA was up 8% with strong ...

Nominees and Voting: Easy @ii

In respect of Interactive Investor the settings for getting the voting and information service are as below: The first step is to go into your account settings, the rightmost...

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 ...

Communicating with Shareholders in Covid times

The FRC have prepared this infographic about communicating Covid-19 impacts to shareholders (click to view larger image). Online Q&A forums and live streaming of AGMs are good ideas. However, individual investors are an important constituency in this, but not properly considered in the new guidance on AGMs. Shareholders will want to question directors about the impact of coronavirus and its implications on the company liquidity and solvency and will want reassurance about these and the ongoing business model. Never has the importance of ...