Terms and definitions

Corporate Terms

The most successful growth market in the world. Since its launch in 1995,
over 3,000 companies from across the globe have chosen to join AIM. Powering the companies of tomorrow, AIM continues to help smaller and growing companies raise the capital they need for expansion.

AIM Rule 26
AIM Rule 26 became effective on 20th February 2007. In summary the information required is as follows:

  • a description of its business and where it is an investing company, its investing strategy;
  • the names of its directors and brief biographical details of each, as would normally be included in an admission document;
  • a description of the responsibilities of the members of the board of directors and details of any committees of the board of directors and their responsibilities;
  • its country of incorporation and main country of operation;
  • where the AIM company is not incorporated in the UK, a statement that the rights of shareholders may be different from the rights of shareholders in a UK incorporated company;
  • its current constitutional documents (e.g. its articles of association);
  • details of any other exchanges or trading platforms on which the AIM company has applied or agreed to have any of its securities (including its AIM securities) admitted or traded;
  • the number of AIM securities in issue (noting any held as treasury shares) and, insofar as it is aware, the percentage of AIM securities that is not in public hands together with the identity and percentage holdings of its significant shareholders. This information should be updated at least every 6 months;
  • details of any restrictions on the transfer of its AIM securities;
  • its most recent annual report published pursuant to rule 19 and all half-yearly, quarterly or similar reports published since the last annual report pursuant to rule 18;
  • all RNS announcements the AIM company has made in the past 12 months;
  • its most recent admission document together with any circulars or similar publications sent to shareholders within the past 12 months; and
  • details of its nominated adviser and other key advisers (as might normally be found in an admission document.

AIM Rule 26 requires all companies trading on AIM to keep this information up-to-date and available free of charge on a website.

Annual General Meeting
This is the annual opportunity for private investors to throw buns at the bosses while they trot out their lame excuses for poor performance. All companies – except the tiddlers – have to have an AGM. Although private shareholders have the right to vote in elections for new directors, say, they don’t really have much influence. It’s the big pension funds and other financial institutions that hold the power because they own most of the shares. But lots of people still turn up, if only to hurl abuse and partake of any freebies on offer.

Annual Report and Accounts
Every year, companies that trade on the main market and AIM have to provide shareholders and the London Stock Exchange with an annual report and accounts. This gives all the financial facts and figures for the previous year’s business, including profits and losses, and the directors’ salaries and pay increases – often the most interesting part of the report. There are an increasing number of internet services that will be provide investors with company reports and accounts for free.

FTSE 100
Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index
. The main UK stock market index measuring the performance of the UK’s 100 largest companies (by market capitalisation – the number of shares time the share value). It is often just called ‘The Footsie’.

FTSE 250
Financial Times Stock Exchange 250 Index
The UK index that measure the performance of the 250 companies below (by market capitalisation) the FTSE 100 companies.

Financial Times Stock Exchange Actuaries All-Share Index
Known simply as the ‘All Share’, this is the broadest based of the UK stock market indices, measuring the performance of over 900 publicly quoted companies.

FTSE4 Good
A series of indices introduced in July 2001 to provide benchmarks for the performance of funds, products and firms in the SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) arena. The FTSE4Good selection criteria cover three areas.

  • Working towards environmental sustainability
  • Developing positive relationships with stakeholders
  • Upholding and supporting universal human rights.

More detail can be found here.

Fully Invested
When an investment trust has invested all its capital in shares or other investments, rather than holding some of it as cash, it is ‘fully invested’.

National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system. The second largest stock exchange in the US, specialising in high-tech and internet related companies, such as Microsoft. The movements of the NASDAQ can have a significant effect on the UK markets, particularly the recently-launched techMARK index of technology, media and telephony companies. More detail can be found on their website:

The Nominated Adviser, broker and other advisers play a central role in a company’s admission to AIM. It is important that a company is confident that it can establish a good working relationship with the appointed Nomad as they will be working closely together at admission and on an ongoing basis.

A FTSE index, launched in 1999, with a base figure of 2,300 points by the London Stock Exchange to reflect the growth at that time in internet and technology stocks. To be included, a company must be committed to technological innovation and listed on the exchange. It includes biotechnology companies as well as internet stocks and software companies. The TechMARK 100 is a subset of the TechMARK all-share and both have an upper market cap limit so as to exclude the largest companies.

Education Terms

Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST)
The largest group of independent schools in the UK, with 4,000 staff and 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18. As a charity, it owns and runs a network of 26 schools (including two academies) in England and Wales, and reinvests all its income into its schools for the benefit of the pupils.

The Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS)
Supports and advises governing bodies of schools in the independent sector on all aspects of governance, under the umbrella of the Independent Schools Council.

The Eton Group
An association of 12 leading English independent schools within the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference including some of the most elite academic schools in the country.

The Girls’ School Association (GSA)
Established in 1974, the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) represents independent girls’ schools in the UK. Promoting high standards and the benefits of single-sex education, the GSA provides strong support for its members.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC)
Representing the Heads of 250 independent schools in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. With a further 60 international members, up to 30 additional Heads of maintained schools, and 34 Honorary Associate Members, the HMC exists to serve and support its members, to represent their views and to exemplify excellence in education.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) 
The umbrella body representing 1,260 independent schools educating more than 500,000 children in the UK, Ireland and overseas. ISC schools include the famous name boarding schools, though the majority of ISC schools are day schools which are not widely known beyond their local communities.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) 
A body approved for the purpose of inspection under Section 162A of the Education Act 2002. As such they report to the Department for Education (DfE) on the extent to which schools meet statutory requirements. ISI is the agency responsible for the inspection of schools in membership of the Associations of the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

The Rugby Group
A group of British independent schools. The group was formed in the 1960s as an association of major boarding schools within the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. As with the Eton Group, which was formed a few years later, headmasters and heads of the academic departments meet annually in rotation to discuss matters of common interest.