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ShareSoc
INVESTOR ACADEMY

Other Useful Sites

This page offers a catalogue of generally useful sites for UK investors. These include the sites of organisations that ShareSoc engages with, or co-operates with, to improve the landscape for the UK individual shareholder. Click on the logos to visit the sites.

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The Investment Association is the representative body for UK investment managers. Their site includes useful information for investors in funds or investment trusts, for anyone considering doing so and wishing to learn more.

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association is the trade body for “wealth managers” and stockbrokers. Their site provides useful information about the range of brokers & wealth managers available, offering a search facility to find ones suitable for your needs.

The AIC (Association of Investment Companies) is the trade body for closed-ended investment companies, e.g. investment trusts. Learn more about such companies and find and compare them on its website.

The QCA represents smaller quoted companies. ShareSoc works with the QCA to agree best practice guides for their members and a regulatory environment that works both for ShareSoc members and for their members.

The Pre-Emption Group publishes guidance on the disapplication of pre-emption rights (this was formerly done by the ABI). See advanced topics within this Academy for more on the significance of pre-emption rights to shareholders.

ShareAction is a campaigning organisation that focuses on CSR issues and pressures companies to act ethically. It does this by attending and raising issues at AGMs and encouraging fund managers to act as good corporate stewards, by encouraging beneficiaries of the funds to put pressure on the fund managers to do so. ShareSoc also wishes to encourage better corporate stewardship, though we may not necessarily agree with ShareAction on every policy initiative they undertake, but there is a considerable amount of common ground.

Better Finance is the pan-European grouping of investor representative organisations. ShareSoc is a member organisation of Better Finance. Whilst ShareSoc can represent its members at a UK level, much legislation affecting investors originates at a European level and is better influenced by a pan-European organisation. ShareSoc ensures that our members’ interests are fully taken into account in the representations Better Finance makes.

The World Federation of Investors is a global grouping of investor representative organisations, of which ShareSoc is also a member. With UK individual investors being increasingly exposed to businesses and funds operating globally, it is important that your interests are represented as broadly as possible. Securities laws in foreign jurisdictions can affect your investments and the WFI provides a forum for helping to protect your interests, wherever your investments operate.

The Financial Reporting Council is the UK government appointed body which sets and enforces standards for accounting, reporting and corporate governance for UK businesses. It supervises the professional bodies governing the UK accountancy and audit profession. If a shareholder has evidence that a professional firm has not performed its duties properly, he or she can report the matter to the FRC, having first complained to the firm concerned and their governing professional body (e.g. the ICAEW) and if the responses from those are not considered satisfactory. ShareSoc represents its members’ interests to the FRC in the standard setting process. We participate in “FRC Labs”, which are, in effect, focus groups reviewing and contributing to proposed standards, for example on the reporting of executive remuneration. Information about applicable current and forthcoming standards can be found on the FRC website.

The Financial Conduct Authority is the UK government appointed body which regulates UK financial services firms and markets. It has an important role in detecting, punishing and deterring financial misconduct. It is the body to whom you should complain if you believe a financial services firm or an actor in the financial markets has behaved improperly. ShareSoc strives to ensure that individual investors can invest in a fair and level playing field and makes representations to the FCA on their behalf to ensure that this happens. Information about the rules with which market participants and financial services firms must comply can be found on the FCA website.

The UK Companies Act is an invaluable reference for understanding your rights as a shareholder of a quoted or listed company. It covers matters such as the conduct of general meetings and requirements for requisitioning meetings or resolutions. Users may find it convenient to download the PDF version, which is easier to search than the website.

Companies House maintains records on all UK companies. Investors can obtain information on directors and accounts filed from there. This is particularly useful for researching subsidiaries of quoted companies, or unlisted companies.