Shareholder Democracy

A shocking failure to communicate?

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc An investment trust that I invest in, JP Morgan Global Growth and Income (JGGI) held an important general meeting today. The purpose of the meeting was to approve its takeover of another investment trust, The Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN). I was shocked to read the RNS announcing the results of the general meeting issued this evening. Not shocked or surprised that the resolutions were overwhelmingly passed but ...

BHP and Woodside Energy Announcements

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc There were announcements this morning (30/8/2022) from BHP Group (BHP) and Woodside Energy (WDS). Many BHP shareholders will also hold Woodside following the merger of the BHP oil/gas operations into Woodside. I continue to hold both having decided that now was not the time to exit a major gas producer. Woodside announced half-year results and their Underlying Net Profit After Tax was up 414% on the ...

FTSE 100 Company holds AGM in Spain. IAG tone deaf?

This is the Personal View Point of Cliff Weight and does not necessarily reflect ShareSoc Policy. Cliff Weight is a director of ShareSoc. Cliff does not own shares in IAG. A good, well run AGM is a sign of a good company with a good culture. An AGM at an inconvenient time in an inconvenient location is a red flag. IAG's 2022 shareholders’ meeting will be held on Thursday 16 June 2022 at 12 noon (CEST).  The meeting will take place in Madrid at Edificio Mutua Madrileña, Paseo de ...

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 ...

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 ...

ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee Parliamentary Question about Bacanora take-over

The background is that ShareSoc was approached by the Bacanora Lithium Shareholder Action Group which is being run by Dee Patel who asked for ShareSoc’s assistance. We have helped them in explaining some key issues in how to run a campaign, how to obtain the shareholder register, problems with voting nominee shares, etc. We also thought whether a takeover would be in the UK public interest issue. We drew this to the attention of ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee, who has now tabled ...

Activists set their sights on underperforming AIM boards

ShareSoc Member Barry Gamble has contributed this article. A version of this first appeared in Board Agenda magazine. Although not exactly an everyday event, it is anything but rare these days for boards to find themselves under attack from activist shareholders. Although not exactly an everyday event, it is anything but rare these days for boards to find themselves under attack from activist shareholders. Following a period of corporate underperformance which becomes reflected in a weak or falling share price, shareholders may decide to ...