Minutes of the AGM held at The Victoria Hotel, Beeston on Saturday, 18 June 2022, as approved by the Committee on 06.08.22 and subject to approval by the Members at the 2023 AGM.
Present: 69 Club Members; the Committee (9 of 12, with appropriate apologies from those presently incapacitated); Allens, the Club’s administrators; Hadfield’s, the Club’s independent examiner/reporting accountants; the Company Secretary.
1) Chairman’s welcome – The Chairman explained that he did not intend to reprise the material in the quarterly reports already provided to Members during the year via Club Matters; suffice to say that the mood and outlook had darkened on both economic and political fronts since the 2021 assembly at Beeston, values had not returned to pre-Covid levels and, unsurprisingly, the unit value had fallen during the past 12-months.
2) Approval of minutes of 2021 AGM – These were approved and seconded from the floor.
3) Election of Committee 2022–2023 – There being no new nominations, the re-election of the four retiring Committee members was proposed and seconded from the floor.
4) Members’ questions and observations – No written questions had been received prior to the meeting and initially there were none from the floor either. The Chairman reminded the AGM that the Committee would greatly value input from the Members around the points raised in Note 3) to today’s agenda, i.e., investment strategy and ‘closed membership’. With regards the former, he continued, illiquidity would forever be an issue, along with the differing and competing objectives of retail investors willing to crowdfund and the unrealistic expectations of certain founders.
The Committee’s general view was that, despite the above and the occasional setback, such as West Berkshire, Club Members supported CMIC in making token investments in small players who are CAMRA-friendly and whose founders appear diligent and grounded. In response to this, several members then took the floor to address questions or observations to the Chairman, summarised (anonymously) as follows: –
- i) might CMIC consider investing directly in a pub(s) to operate for its own account? An interesting idea, but the Committee considers the purchase cost of even a modest, single establishment to be disproportionate to the current overall fund value, and how would the Committee be able to actively manage such a venue(s) etc?
- ii) on the subject of illiquid investments in small players, 5 Members expressed views which were generally supportive of the cautious stance already being adopted by the Committee – in essence, in spite of the obvious associated risk, there is a place for such investments going forward, provided the overall exposure is limited to (say) no more than 10% of the overall fund.
- iii) in respect of the closed membership point, 3 members expressed views from the floor both against and in favour. ‘Against’, CMIC is here to support CAMRA’s ideals and this direct linkage between the two organisations should continue in such a way that anyone exiting CAMRA should be obliged to exit CMIC; ‘in favour’, longstanding, but departing, CAMRA members should be able to freeze or otherwise let their CMIC holding ride upon departure (from CAMRA). The feeling of the meeting was sympathetic to this point whilst agreeing with the principle of the first. The meeting agreed that the Committee should consider this point further and report back in due course.
5) Approval of Accounts for ye 31 March 2022 – Proposed and seconded from the floor, to a round of applause – no questions.
6) Appointment of Reporting Accountants for 2022-2023 – Proposed and seconded from the floor.
7) Any other business – The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Committee members for their efforts during this challenging year and also to Allens, Hadfields, the Company Secretary, Linda and her team at ‘The Vic’ for the usual excellent spread, and, last but not least, Castle Rock Brewery for its overall sponsorship of the day.
Next year’s AGM would be held here at Beeston on Saturday, 17 June, with Jane Kershaw of Joseph Holt confirmed as guest speaker.
Neil Kellett announced that we had recently received an offer from Belgian investee, Cantillon, to buy back our shareholding in this operation, on terms which were considered favourable, and which had already been accepted by the Committee – a farewell tour to the venue had been arranged for 10 October, and Members interested in participating (maximum 25) should make themselves known to Janet immediately please!
The assembled were then treated to an insightful and entertaining appraisal of the development of the hop industry, with questions, by Dr Peter Darby. The Charman and Members then thanked Peter in customary fashion.
Nick Metcalfe, Company Secretary, 9th August 2022