AGMs

How to ask Questions at AGMs

The furore caused by a few grumpy old misogynistic men asking questions at the Aviva AGM is huge. It casts a terrible image and is totally unrepresentative of the vast majority of individual investors who are professional and courteous. ShareSoc totally disapproves of the appalling conduct of certain shareholders at the Aviva AGM. See https://www.ft.com/content/01b723f1-1a7b-4096-86be-95148eb8aca0 (subscription required)   and https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-10806369/Aviva-boss-hit-misogyny-City-sexism-storm-AGM.html Amanda Blanc said: 'After 30-plus years in financial services, I am pretty used to sexist and derogatory comments. 'Sadly, just like many other women in ...

Policy and Campaigns – Progress Update 04 April 2022

Policy and Campaigns – Progress Update 4 April 2022 Since our last update in November 2021 (see page 16 here), we have worked on: 1. Consultation responses and government lobbying 2. Woodford Campaign 3. Voting Guidance and Shareholder Engagement 4. Shareholder Rights/Nominees 5. SVS/ITI 6. FCA liaison 7. FRC, BEIS, etc liaison 8. Campaigns 9. AIM regulation 1. Consultation responses and government lobbying. This continues to be a major area of work, where ShareSoc represents the interests of individual investors. We have submitted responses to: • FRC Endorsement Board – Draft Endorsement Criteria ...

IMB – Imperial Brands Company Information and Vote Guidance 2022

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. ShareSoc  introduced this new added value voting information service, for Full Members only in 2021, providing background information on leading companies and AGM vote guidance. Initially we are piloting this for FTSE30 companies, plus a few others in the FTSE100. We have decided to continue the pilot in 2022 and are looking at ways to improve our services to members. I do not own shares in ...

Policy and Campaigns – Progress Update 20 Dec 2021

Since Oct 12 (see previous update here), we have worked on: Audit and Governance reform: many members have told us of their concerns about the disasters at Carillion and many others. We view the audit and governance reforms as crucial and have pressed for these to be moved forward as quickly as possible. We are concerned about lobbying to slow down this progress and co-signed a letter to the FT which was published on 12 Nov. 21. Woodford Campaign: ...

Laggard DotDigital: how not to run an AGM

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I have been a shareholder of DotDigital for 8 years now and I was appalled by the manner in which the virtual AGM that I have just attended was conducted. Shareholders were advised that in person attendance would not be possible, so a virtual AGM would be provided via the Investor-Meet-Company (IMC) platform. I duly completed the necessary formalities and looked forward to asking my questions ...

FT, 22 Oct 2021, Getting heard on climate: small investors take on big companies

Click here to read the article Alice Ross, FT Deputy Editor, has written a major article about how "Retail shareholders can get organised and can push for change if they band together". The article focusses on the successes of the pressure group ShareAction who have successfully used their AGM Army to ask questions at AGMs and lobby for change. However, Cliff Weight and ShareSoc are also quoted at some length.   One problem for retail investor engagement, however, is that the vast majority remain uninvolved. ...

FCA AGM questions – Response to ShareSoc question on financial education

Asking a question at an AGM is often a good way to get access to the Board and force them to engage on a key issue.  This approach worked well with the FCA, where I submitted three questions and one of which, on financial education, was answered in the live part of the meeting. Page 18 of the written record of the meeting records that I asked FCA Chair Charles Randell: Will the FCA support greater financial education in schools and in the wider world, ...

Policy and Campaigns – Progress Update to 12 October 2021

Since June 14 (see https://www.sharesoc.org/sharesoc-news/policy-and-campaigns-progress-update-14-june-2021/  for previous update), ShareSoc's Policy and Campaigns' team have worked on:   Woodford Campaign: Leigh Day have submitted their claim. They now have 11,000 claimants and another 3,000 registered, but yet to sign their Leigh Day agreement. We held a very successful webinar on 30 Sept with 942 registrants. ShareSoc’s Woodford Campaign now has over 1,500 members, which enables us to lobby strongly for regulatory change and to hold to account those who have done wrong.  ...

BHP – Company Information and Vote Guidance 2021

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I own shares in BHP and have recently bought some more.  With sales of c.£50bn, their EV (Enterprise Value = market cap plus debt) of £100 bn is 2 times turnover and this looks much more reasonable than the Diageo shares I recently reviewed and sold. The BHP p/e (forecast) ratio is a very modest 7. For over 15 years BHP have met annually with shareholders ...

DGE : Diageo – Company Information and Vote Guidance

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I do not own shares in Diageo, but my wife does, in her ISA. She bought in 1998 at £7.16 and they are now £35. With sales of £12.7bn, their EV (Enterprise Value = market cap plus debt) of £95 bn is > six  times turnover and I don't see great barriers to entry at the global level or from supermarkets going direct to wine ...