Shareholder Democracy

Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities

The Law Commission has published a “scoping paper” on Intermediated Securities (See Reference 1 below). This might sound a pretty dry technical subject but the subtitle of the report asks the important question – it covers “Who Owns Your Shares?” I have written about the problem of the growth in the use of nominee accounts as on-line platforms have replaced share certificates many times in the past. ShareSoc has a web page with voluminous information on this subject including reports written by ...

Chrysalis – Vote NO at 26 November General Meeting

Shareholders are excluded from this GM and there is no pre-meeting webinar to discuss these highly contentious proposals to wind up the VCT and distribute any monies raised (less administration fees, including payments to the failing fund manager and some directors). Several members of the ShareSoc VCT Investor Group (including Tim Grattan, Mark Lauber, Roger Lawson and myself) met on 10 Nov to discuss Chrysalis' plans. Our conclusion was that shareholders should vote against these proposals for the following reasons: Chrysalis is ...

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...