Respected journalist Alistair Blair presses for shareholder committees

In the last week of March 2012, Alistair Blair used his regular 'No Free Lunch' article in Investors Chronicle to press for the introduction of 'the shareholder committee'. Subtitling the article, "A new look for an old idea", Mr Blair examined one of the ways in which the idea could be implemented.

His article was prompted by his reading of the interim Kay report on short-termism in UK equity markets.  In Mr Blair's opinion, "There was only one idea in the report that seems easily implementable and capable of making a difference: the shareholder committee."  He added, "This proposal has been doing the rounds for at least 10 years, most eloquently under the advocacy of the UK Shareholders Association (UKSA)."

Alistair Blair took issue with UKSA’s desire for private shareholders' committees to be implemented widely, suggesting that it would first be necessary "to demonstrate the active involvement of at least a minimum wedge of shareholders, which he puts at three per cent of the shares. UKSA's approach is different, but the article will undoubtedly help to get a serious debate on the matter underway and that can only be for the good of all private investors who, as a class, have become so very marginalised by a number of developments over recent years.