I have said many times that a ‘Value’ strategy can often lead to additional gains from takeovers. We have had far more than our fair share these last few years and yet another, Vectura, has just succumbed to a bid too and the shares have jumped by a third. That adds just over £500,000 to aggregate client valuations. We have been waiting some while for activity in this pharmaceutical company but cannot complain when this happens. The money realised will be recycled into more ‘similar’ situations. Our next newsletter promises our clients that over the next few years they will enjoy several more such corporate bonuses. Why? Because if the markets themselves do not more suitably recognise the under-valued situations, then other companies or bidding predators will and they’ll not just buy a few shares – they take the lot.

Dealing With Estates

I have just encountered the worst case of dealing with an estate I have seen – or certainly for a long time. This was dealt-with by a solicitor in rural Wales and the deceased being an elderly lady from London, who clearly had relied upon the connection as the ‘family solicitor’ to do a good and trusted job. The real problem, with such law firms it seems, is that frankly there is so little accountability and so little recourse at all. I really could write a book on the disgraceful behaviour in this instance – the arrogance, the failure to respond to simple enquiries on behalf of beneficiaries, not distributing £240,000 to those beneficiaries for over two years after the capital was received and so it goes on and I fear too the Inheritance Tax was miscalculated till I noted their mistakes. I think the worst scenario too is the charges they have levied – and incurred with an overseas’ firm too (whereby possibly wise pre-death advice could have ensured the matter never had to arise in the first place) so that ‘professional fees’ gobbled-up something like 8% of the total net estate of roughly £500,000. There were no reasons whatsoever why interim distributions could not have been made to the beneficiaries and there won’t be any interest or investment return on that capital (which has still not arrived).