ShareSoc News

Unilever abandons its plans. ANOTHER VICTORY FOR INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDERS

This morning 5 October Unilever announced it had abandoned its plans, so there is no longer any need to vote. What good news this is. It is a triumph for all those involved in engaging with the company, who have belatedly listened to our arguments.   We were very concerned about the disenfranchisement of individual investors in the Unilever vote on 26 October.   Members may wish to know that as part of our campaign, ShareSoc on 4 October, sent the following OPEN LETTER TO PLATFORMS AND NOMINEE COMPANIES. 4 October 2018 UNILEVER PLC ...

Joint UKSA-ShareSoc Letter in the FT re Unilever Vote and UK Shareholder Disenfranchisement

  The letter, headed Complacency on Unilever vote may rebound on UK, said Sir, Neil Collins highlighted the importance of small investors in Unilever’s coming votes (Inside London, FT Weekend, September 22-23). A scheme of arrangement requires approval by at least 75 per cent in value of each class of the members or creditors who vote on the scheme, being also at least a majority in number of each class. The court’s permission is needed to convene the meetings of members and creditors to ...

Response to FCA on Platforms Study Sep 2018

Press Release 106 - Joint Press Release from UKSA and ShareSoc on behalf of individual investors about the FCA Investment Platforms Market Study Interim Report In a hard-hitting response to the Financial Conduct Authority, UKSA-ShareSoc demand a more fundamental review of how investment ownership is recorded (i.e. share and fund registration systems) needs to be undertaken and legislation put in place to reform it. The present systems appear to have been devised for the primary benefit of the platform operators and not their clients, ...

UKSA and ShareSoc Joint Recommendations for Voting re Unilever Resolutions

Unilever’s proposal to rationalise its share structure and move its HQ to the Netherlands Many members will be aware that Unilever is planning to simplify its share structure by scrapping its dual UK / Dutch structure and moving its headquarters to the Netherlands. UKSA and ShareSoc are very doubtful whether these changes will be in the best interests of most private shareholders. Unilever's plans will result in their plc shares being taken over by NV shares, which will be listed in Holland and ...

BHP Billiton Retail Shareholder Event 18 Sept 2018

BHP Chairman Ken MacKenzie presented to 60+ retail shareholders in a highly successful event organised by BHP, UKSA and ShareSoc. After a 20 minute presentation, Ken answered questions for...

ShareSoc Remuneration Guidelines to be publicised more widely

Remuneration continues to be a key issue for investors and the ShareSoc Remuneration Guidelines, first published in June 2106, are proving to be helpful. ShareSoc strongly encourages members to send copies of our guidelines to companies where they are unhappy with the current remuneration arrangements. We have now split the guidelines into separate documents which focus on (i) smaller companies (<£200m market cap) and (ii) larger companies. Click below to download the guidelines: Smaller Companies Remuneration Guidelines (14 pages) Larger Companies Remuneration Guidelines (12 pages)  We ...

ShareSoc+UKSA demand firmer, faster action from the FCA in our joint response to Duty of Care consultation

In a considered joint response, the UK Shareholders Association and ShareSoc, said firmer and faster, transparent action against those who violate the integrity of the FCA standards, rules and guidance is needed. In practically every financial scandal or financial crisis, the FCA seems to have taken far too long to decide whether companies/firms/individuals have a case to answer and too often has concluded that nothing has gone seriously wrong. If this fundamental issue is not addressed, then no amount of debate ... Read more

Firmer, faster, more transparent action needed by FRC, we tell Kingman

UKSA and ShareSoc responded jointly to Sir John Kingman’s review of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). We summarised our assessment of the FRC’s current strengths and weaknesses and made suggestions for addressing the weaknesses. The main points we made were: Our main desired outcome is firmer and faster action against those who violate the integrity of reporting standards. It seems to us (and to the general public) that in practically every financial scandal or financial crisis, the FRC seems to have taken ...

Beaufort Client Campaign: Update 4

Following much hard work by the creditors' committee, PwC has now drafted an official distribution plan, in line with our previously stated understanding. Full details of the plan can be found here: https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/business-recovery/administrations/beaufort/distributions.html It was approved by the creditors' committee on 13th July and by the Court on 26th July. I attended the court hearing - more on that later. It is anticipated that the vast majority of client assets will be transferred to another broker in September, without loss or costs payable by ...

Dowd Report On Cost Of Guarantees Linked To Equity Release Mortgages

Press Release 105 - Joint Press Release from UKSA and ShareSoc on behalf of individual investors Dowd Report On Cost Of Guarantees Linked To Equity Release Mortgages UKSA-ShareSoc welcome the publication of Professor Kevin Dowd's report on the valuation of embedded guarantees in equity release mortgages, which raises troubling questions about the quality and transparency of corporate reporting. It also raises concerns about the opaque relationship between regulators and regulated firms. Equity release mortgages allow people over the age of 55 to borrow a proportion of ...