Friday, 9 May 2008

Where is Caledonia's £60k Tory donation?

Last year the investment trust Caledonia Investments sought shareholder approval at its AGM in July to make donations of up to £60,000 to the Conservative Party. You can read the rationale for it in a previous post here. The odd thing is that no donations from Caledonia to the Tories appear on the Electoral Commission website - I've tried searching for both Caledonia and Caledonia Investments.

As the text of the resolution stated last year, the authority sought would only last "until 1 January 2009 or, if earlier, the conclusion of the next annual general meeting of the Company". As the company's AGM should be coming up in July, that means that if donations haven't been made they only have about two months to make them (and disclose them...).

Given that the company is quite blatant in its support for the Tories, in contrast to the unconvincing excuses trotted out by another fund manager that also loves the Tories, I can't imagine that embarrassment is an issue, so what's going on. Have the donations simply not been disclosed? Anyone got any bright ideas?

Also I've managed to find another voting decision on the resolution. Barclays Global Investors (BGI) also voted AGAINST. See page 25 (as numbered) of their Q3 report.

So the scores on the doors are:

Baillie Gifford - AGAINST
Co-operative Insurance - AGAINST
Hermes - AGAINST
Insight Investment - FOR
Newton - AGAINST

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