PRESS RELEASE 58 (02/09/2014)
Guaranteed Rights for All Shareholders –
Campaign launch meeting
On October 14th ShareSoc is launching a campaign to give full rights to ALL shareholders.
Shareholders Disenfranchised and Rights Undermined
At present most private investors purchase shares in nominee accounts. With a very few exceptions this means that they have no automatic rights to vote, to attend General Meetings of companies or even receive information on the affairs of the company. The nominee system disenfranchises the vast majority of private shareholders. As a result they now often see investment in publicly listed companies as speculation on a share price derivative rather than the purchase of a stake in a business they own.
Commercial Interests have taken Precedence
This situation has arisen because the nominee system offers certain commercial attractions to stockbrokers and other financial market intermediaries, and because the Government has not given priority to the protection of the rights of individual investors.
Rights not Exercisable
Although in theory investors via nominee accounts have rights to vote, attend meetings and receive information under the Companies Act, those rights are in practice not exercisable, and are not exercised, by the vast majority of private investors. In addition many rights that are otherwise available to shareholders who are on the register of a company are lost.
Shareholder Democracy Destroyed and Corporate Governance undermined
Shareholder democracy has been fatally undermined by the historic changes to the way the UK stock market operates to the detriment of good corporate governance in companies as the voice of individual shareholders is lost. Individual shareholders have a direct ownership interest rather than simply acting as agents for others as is the case with many institutional investors, so they are more likely to express concerns about management failings, excessive director pay and poor corporate governance.
The meeting on the 14th October will explain how and why this situation has come to pass and present our conclusions on how it should be rectified. We see this as the first step in getting some real changes in this area.
Speakers at the meeting will include Stan Grierson and Roger Lawson from ShareSoc, Peter Swabey from ICSA, John Lee (Lord Lee of Trafford, a well known FT writer and private investor), John Kay (author of the Kay Review and FT writer), and Michael Kempe from Capita representing the ICSA Registrars Group.
Please go to this web page for more details and to register your attendance:
For further information, please contact:
Roger W. Lawson,
Deputy Chairman, ShareSoc
Or Stan Grierson on Telephone 01628-
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