ShareSoc News

RBS Report – Not a Total Whitewash, But….

PRESS RELEASE 15 (12/12/2011) ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) welcomes the long overdue publication of the FSA report on the failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). It does highlight many important issues, and we have summarised those in an Appendix to this press release. For example, it suggests that existing regulations are not tough enough to ensure proper stewardship of banks and suggests some changes (the report sees no prospect of penalties being imposed on the directors of RBS). But ...

Getting Tough on Pay

PRESS RELEASE 14 (05/12/2011) ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) welcomes Nick Clegg’s statement that the Government is to clamp down on excessive pay in public companies in the New Year. ShareSoc has been arguing for some time that pay is now out of control. In both large and small companies, there are examples of outrageous levels of pay, ridiculously generous “performance” schemes and over-complicated pay structures that serve to obfuscate what is happening. In our recent submission to the Executive Pay Discussion ...

No Tears for the Death of “Northern Rock”?

PRESS RELEASE 13 (18/11/2011) No tears for the death of “Northern Rock” – at least not from the Government one presumes. Virgin Money have acquired the company and intend to phase out the brand as soon as possible. Virgin are paying £747m in cash immediately and up to £300m subsequently. Bearing in mind that the Government paid nothing for the equity of the company to the previous shareholders when they nationalised the company in early 2008, this is surely a good deal? ...

ShareSoc Launches Campaign on Rensburg AIM VCT

PRESS RELEASE 12 (14/10/2011) ShareSoc (The UK Individual Shareholders Society) has launched its first campaign to obtain changes in a specific company – namely Rensburg AIM VCT. Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have major tax advantages, and some VCTs have been very successful with total returns (net asset value plus dividends) of over 5% p.a. since launch, ignoring tax reliefs. However there are many that have been very disappointing. One of these is Rensburg AIM VCT which has achieved a total return of -1% ...

ShareSoc Launches a Proposal for Shareholder Committees In Response to Vince Cable’s Paper on Executive Remuneration

PRESS RELEASE 08 (20/09/2011) Vince Cable yesterday proposed that one way to bring Executive Remuneration to heel is to “diversify” Remuneration Committees by introducing independent members. There are potential legal problems with doing this, and the UK Individual Shareholder Society (ShareSoc) suggests there is a much better solution that would also tackle a number of other issues with the governance of UK public companies. Our solution is the introduction of Shareholder Committees and we have today published a 17-page report on how they ...

ShareSoc Launches E-Petition to Ensure Nominee Account Shareholders are Enfranchised

PRESS RELEASE 11 (17/09/2011) There are major problems in attending or voting at General Meetings of companies if your shares are held in a nominee account. One of ShareSoc’s key manifesto aims is to reform the disenfranchisement of most nominee shareholders, and ensure that they receive full information about the companies they own, as other shareholders do. We have created an E-Petition under the new arrangements established by the Government to address this. The Government has made a commitment that any petition that receives ...

ShareSoc Recommends Shareholders Vote Against the Recapitalization Proposals for Healthcare Locums

PRESS RELEASE 10 (02/09/2011) Further to our previous press release on the subject of Healthcare Locums, the UK Individual Shareholder Society (ShareSoc) has concluded that if the proposals to recapitalize the company are voted down, then it is likely that alternative proposals will be put forward that would be more advantageous to most shareholders. We previously criticised the proposals recommended to shareholders by the board because of the very substantial dilution of shareholders. Minority shareholders (such as the individual shareholders we represent) may ...

ShareSoc Publishes a Guide to Shareholder Activism

PRESS RELEASE 07 (25/07/2011) The UK Individual Shareholder Society (ShareSoc) has published a guide on “How to Form and Run a Shareholder Action Group”. This is aimed at private investors who occasionally feel disgruntled about the actions of companies and their directors, but do not know how to complain. ShareSoc believes that shareholder activism should be encouraged. Improving the “engagement” of shareholders with the companies in which they own a stake has been encouraged by many commentators and activism is one form of ...

ShareSoc Launches a New Manifesto for Shareholders

PRESS RELEASE 06 (16/06/2011) The UK Individual Shareholder Society (ShareSoc) has launched a new “Manifesto” which is a clear statement of what it will be promoting in future. It is aimed at tackling many of the faults in the existing operation and regulation of UK stock markets and businesses. For example it is generally recognised that the “engagement” of shareholders with the companies they own is inadequate. This has led to errant directors who seem sometimes to run companies in their own ...

ShareSoc Appoints Mark Bentley as a Director

PRESS RELEASE 05 (05/05/2011) The UK Individual Shareholder Society (ShareSoc) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Bentley as a Director of the Society. Mark has extensive experience of stock market investment and will be initially assisting the board of ShareSoc on a project to improve the available information about AIM companies, their Nomads and Directors and the general legal and regulatory environment for listed companies. A brief biography of Mr Bentley is as follows: Mark Bentley, M.A. has been a full-time stock ...