corporate governance

Activists set their sights on underperforming AIM boards

ShareSoc Member Barry Gamble has contributed this article. A version of this first appeared in Board Agenda magazine. Although not exactly an everyday event, it is anything but rare these days for boards to find themselves under attack from activist shareholders. Although not exactly an everyday event, it is anything but rare these days for boards to find themselves under attack from activist shareholders. Following a period of corporate underperformance which becomes reflected in a weak or falling share price, shareholders may decide to ...

Investment Trust Discount Reduction – The SEC example

by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight. These are my views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Readers may recall my blog in Oct 2020 about investment trusts discounts and what to do about them https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/investment-trust-discounts-what-to-do-about-them-and-sec-example/ On Friday 28 May 2021,  SEC announced their new plan to help reduce their discount, https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/SEC/contingent-tender-offers/14995537 : 2022 Contingent Tender The Board has determined to put in place a contingent tender offer in 2022, should the ordinary shares trade at a wider than average discount of 8 per cent. over the ...

Laggard Long Serving Directors and Maven VCT

I have long complained about directors serving on boards for longer than 9 years. The UK Corporate Governance Code (which you can easily find on the web) says any director who serves for more than 9 years cannot be considered “independent” and there should be a majority of independent directors. When the UK Corporate Governance Code was drafted, this principle of avoiding long-serving directors was introduced and I consider it a very sound principle. But investment trusts (including Venture Capital Trusts) continue ...

VCT INVESTORS GROUP Update and report on 23 March 2021 webinar

ShareSoc News Item by Cliff Weight, Director 117 people registered for our 23 March 2021 webinar and at least 94 attended, much higher than the 26 the previous year at the East India Club. The organisers received much positive feedback, for which they are grateful, and indicates that similar future events should be planned. At the webinar: Cliff Weight did a brief introduction of why the VCT Investors Group was formed and why it exists – to lobby on poor performance, poor ...

FRC webinars re audit reform

Following publication of the Government’s consultation Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance the FRC will be hosting a series of webinars and roundtables to provide further insight on key aspects of the consultation and to provide interested stakeholders with an opportunity to share their views and comment on the government’s proposals.   Further details about how to participate in the FRC’s extensive engagement programme is available here. The FRC have organised a series of webinars for those interested in the Government's latest consultation ...

Restoring Trust, After It’s Long Been Lost

Failings The Government BEIS Department have published a white paper entitled “Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance”. It’s an acknowledgement that the trust of investors in directors who manage the companies they invest in has long ago been lost. And the trust in auditors that the accounts issued by companies are accurate and give a fair view of a company’s financial position has also been lost. There are few stock market investors who have not been affected by one or more scandals ...

More about Skin in the Game and Impax

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc Please note that these are my personal views and not those of ShareSoc. Neither I nor ShareSoc is able to give financial advice and nothing in this blog should be construed as such. Disclosure: I hold shares in Impax but not in IGR. Back to my Portfolio and Impax I have had a busy few weeks, with the launch of the Woodford Campaign, the Sirius webinar and a massive 49 page response to the FCA’s Call for Input on ...

Is the FRC doing a good job?

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. I think the FRC is doing a much better job. The record fine for Deloitte re Autonomy, (see Compliance Week: FRC fines Deloitte record $19.4M for Autonomy audit failures ) and the fines at Redcentric and Redcentric's auditors, and the prosecutions of former Redcentric directors in Southwark Crown Court are further evidence that things are changing. As is the transitioning from FRC into ARGA. But don't take my word for it. Come to the FRC events we have organised ...

RBS Shareholder Campaign and AGM voting recommendations – Update 18, 17 April 2020

 RBS could do better! It would be wrong to lambast RBS in the eye of the COVID-19 storm, but we note the following issues: 2020 AGM solution requires voting before discussion Directors’ shareholdings are too small – no alignment with shareholders No information on potential loan impairments from COVID-19 pandemic Market cap of £12bn is too small versus £723bn total assets The RBS Board has in this time of crisis, reverted to type – communication flows and quality of ...

AGMs and impact of Covid-19

By Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director This is a complex area. It would be good to hear your views and ideas. Please add them via the comments box below this...