VCTs

VCT News

Changes to KIDs Proposed by the FCA

Yet another public consultation issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in mid-summer is one on KIDs (Key Information Documents). This is relevant to private investors and is designated CP21/23 – see link below. KIDs are imposed and regulated under the PRIIPs regulation as devised by the EU for packaged investment products such as funds and trusts. KIDs give basic financial information, risk indicators and likely future performance based on past performance. Those who purchase investment trusts for example will be asked ...

Voting Against Directors at Greggs and MAV4

Greggs (GRG) held their Annual General Meeting today. This was a “closed” meeting but with no electronic access provided. Bearing in mind the size of the company, it seems unreasonable that they could not have provided shareholder access. But I note that the votes reported show that several directors received substantial votes against. For example Ian Durant at 4.8% and Sandra Turner at 7.7%. I wonder why? There were also substantial numbers of votes withheld but no explanation has been given. One advantage ...

Laggard Long Serving Directors and Maven VCT

I have long complained about directors serving on boards for longer than 9 years. The UK Corporate Governance Code (which you can easily find on the web) says any director who serves for more than 9 years cannot be considered “independent” and there should be a majority of independent directors. When the UK Corporate Governance Code was drafted, this principle of avoiding long-serving directors was introduced and I consider it a very sound principle. But investment trusts (including Venture Capital Trusts) continue ...

Ventus and Ventus 2 VCT – UPDATE

ShareSoc led a campaign fronted by Nick Curtis at the August 2019 AGM to remove the directors and institute governance changes.  There had been concerns from shareholders around the length of director service, investment management fees, performance fee calculations and high management costs. Whilst the majority of the directors remained, Paul Thomas, the Temporis representative, was removed and given the high level of shareholder dissatisfaction (at nearly 50% of the vote) Nick Curtis was asked to go on the board of Ventus.  ...

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 ...

Epidemic Over? Unable to Trade and Chrysalis VCT Wind-Up

Pandemic News The news that the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 appears to work (at least 90% of the time) and has no negative side effects gave stock markets a good dose of euphoria yesterday (9th November). It suggests that we might be able to return to a normal life in future, but exactly when is far from clear. Actually producing and distributing the vaccine is going to be a mammoth task and it is very clear that it will only be given ...

Long Serving Directors and Kings Arms Yard VCT

I have commented in the past on my objections to long-serving directors on public company boards. That included comments on the directors of Baronsmead Venture Trust (BVT) only a few weeks ago – see my AGM report: https://www.sharesoc.org/agm-reports/baronsmead-venture-trust-bvt-agm-2020/ – particularly the Chairman Peter Lawrence. The UK Corporate Governance Code contains specific provisions that indicate that directors who serve for more than 9 years cannot be considered independent. Therefore companies should provide good explanations as to why they wish to ignore this provision. ...

Equals Trading, Bango Results, Finablr Suspension, Baronsmead VCT and Closing the Stock Market

As share prices of almost every share on the market collapses, should all trading be suspended? The argument for this is that as the impact of the coronavirus on the economy is not certain, although it looks more dire every day, shares cannot be valued with any certainty. Indeed there seems to be no hiding place as there never is in a bear market – almost all share prices have fallen. The editor of the FT thinks the market should not ...

VCT Investors Group Action Plan

23 ShareSoc members who are also members of the VCT investor group met on 26 February 2020 at the East India Club. We reviewed recent successes at Ventus, Albion,...

ShareSoc Campaign has Successful Outcome at Albion

ShareSoc is pleased with the outcome of this consultation with shareholders following the shareholders 30% vote against the fee proposal at the General Meeting in August 2019. This shows:...