Unclaimed dividends find charitable home
The Guernsey Community Foundation has received a charitable donation of £10,000 from a locally domiciled investment company and hopes that this marks the beginning of a new trend.
The donation, made by NB Global Monthly Income Fund Limited (NBMI or the Company), represents the proceeds of its unclaimed dividends. Shareholders agreed that because at least six years had passed without being able to trace the beneficial owners the unclaimed dividends, at the discretion of the board of directors of NBMI, could be donated to a local charity.
David Staples, Senior Independent Director at NBMI, said: “For various reasons, dividends go unclaimed and occasionally the Company, despite all reasonable attempts, was unable to contact the rightful recipients. In such circumstances we were very pleased to be able to donate these funds to a charity of our choice for the benefit of the local community. We agreed that the Foundation was an ideal home for these funds, as it works diligently with hundreds of charities to help improve the quality of life for people in the Bailiwick.”
The Foundation’s chair, Sir Richard Collas, said that the Foundation was delighted to receive this donation from the company.
“There are hundreds of Guernsey-domiciled dividend-paying investment funds, many of which may hold unclaimed dividends and have untraceable members on their shareholder register. These funds are a huge potential source of untapped income for local charities,” he said. “Shareholders can consider the donation of unclaimed dividends at their AGM, confident that such a donation complements their Environmental, Social and Governance responsibilities.
“Our board are always exploring new sources of funding, and this is the first time we have received a donation sourced from the proceeds of unclaimed dividends. We are hopeful that other investment funds will follow this lead. The charitable donation of unclaimed dividends could very well become embedded as an industry standard.”
Charlotte Denton, Chair of GIFA’s NED committee said; “We are sure that a number of funds are likely to be in this situation and if so, we strongly encourage boards and administrators to consider a charitable donation as a solution if their specific Articles permit.”
The Foundation’s Chief Executive Jim Roberts thanked board director Rupert Dorey for seeking imaginative ways for sourcing new of funds.
“We’re always looks for ways to diversify our sources of funding,” he said. “We’re hoping that others will follow the lead taken by NBMI and direct unclaimed dividends to the Foundation so that we can invest in the charitable sector.”