ShareSoc - Supporting Individual Shareholders

Who represents the interests of individual shareholders (i.e. private investors rather than institutions) in the UK? The leading organisation that does just that is ShareSoc - the UK Individual Shareholders Society supporting individual shareholders - a not-for-profit organisation controlled by its members.

Private shareholders do need an active body to campaign for the rights of shareholders and to represent their views forcefully to companies, to the Government, and to other institutions.

ShareSoc’s main objectives are to improve the investment performance of members, to increase their wealth, to promote financial education at all levels, to provide a good communications facility for investors and to ensure good corporate governance in companies.

The Society also report on companies, particularly those where problems have arisen, and they also support shareholder action groups where appropriate.

One of ShareSoc's main activities is actively putting forward policies at the national level to improve the lot of private shareholders. The Society also strive to promote good investment practice for private investors. The Chairman, Roger Lawson, had this to say recently:

“It is clear from recent proposals to scrap the printing of Annual Reports by the FRC, to ban all “execution only” trading by the European Commission and to only permit VCT and EIS funds to be sold to “sophisticated investors” that we are still seeing ridiculous proposals being put forward by public bodies. They have little understanding of what individual shareholders want and constantly bow to the prejudices of institutional investors and the interests of other stakeholders in financial markets”.

Call to Action

There are millions of private shareholders in the UK. But historically they have had little influence. Only recently has ShareSoc started to adequately represent them while other similar organisations across Europe are much larger in size with tens of thousands of members.

ShareSoc has reached 2,500 members after only eighteen months of operation, but still needs to recruit many more people if it is to be truly representative.

So if you want to see some changes in the landscape of Government stock market regulation or taxation, ShareSoc are an organisation worth supporting. For example, they would like:

  • nominee accounts reformed so as to improve shareholder voting and “engagement”
  • reforms to director remuneration
  • private investors being put on a level playing field rather than being treated as second class citizens in terms of information provision by companies.

ShareSoc provides a lot of educational material on its web site and in an informative monthly newsletter plus networking opportunities and general advice.

Associate Membership of ShareSoc is free and is open to everyone with an interest in stock market investment.

ShareSoc is a not-for-profit organisation funded mainly by subscriptions and donations from individual members.

For more information on ShareSoc, please access their web site: Here