AA PLC (AA.)

AA PLC (AA.)

Blog posts

Lessons From a Failed Investment

This is a premium article, available to ShareSoc full members and SIGnet members. Recent troubles at the AA (AA.) and Petropavlovsk (POG) brought to mind another problematic investment that I am more familiar with and which shares some characteristics of those companies. That investment is Gulf Marine Services (GMS). IPOs by Private Equity Vendors Like the AA, GMS was floated by its original private equity owners, with a premium listing on the LSE main market, in March 2014. GMS is a relatively straightforward business: ...

Brands Have Limits – Saga and AA

I have written before about the merits of strong brands. This is a paragraph from my new book soon to be published (entitled “Business Perspective Investing”): “Trade marks help customers to identify with the product, and make it easier for them to select the product on a new purchase. Brands are particularly effective when there is actually little difference between competitors’ products - for example, lager beer, gin or washing powder. Brands are exceedingly valuable if well maintained. Coca-Cola is a ...

Departures – AA and Blur

Yesterday was the start of many people’s holidays. But two company chief executives are going to be taking longer holidays than they expected. The Executive Chairman of the AA Plc (AA.) Bob Mackenzie has gone. The announcement from the company said he “has been removed by the board….for gross misconduct, with immediate effect”. According to press reports, this arose from a fracas in a bar, although there is also a suggestion that he may be suffering from a mental illness. Some newspapers ...

BP Remuneration Vote Lost

BP had 59% of shareholders voting AGAINST the Remuneration Resolution at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 14/4/2016 (and that's ignoring the abstentions which some institutions like to use to express dissatisfaction). This is what the Chairman had to say even before the vote was cast: "We know already from the proxies received and conversations with our institutional investors that there is real concern over the directors' pay in this challenging year for our shareholders. We have always judged executive performance not ...

Active Management and Collective Action

An article in yesterday's FT (16/3/2015) on active investment management, versus passive, by Sophia Grene prompted some thoughts on the topic of "public goods". Passive management is where a manager is simply tracking an index whereas active managers are actually making their own investment decisions. Active management typically costs more to the investor, on the premise that more work is required to be put in by the manager, but they argue that it is justified because they can outperform the market. ...

ShareSoc News

ShareSoc Advises Investors to Vote Against Anglo American Remuneration Report

PRESS RELEASE 74 14/4/2016 ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) is advising its Members to vote against the Remuneration Report resolution at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of Anglo American. We consider the pay of the CEO to be too high, and particularly so in a year when the company suffered a loss of $5.6 billion in 2015 and dividends were suspended. The market cap of Anglo has shrunk from £50 billion in 2008 to £8 billion today. However, CEO remuneration has ...