Replacement for Campbell O’Connor

Pieface

Registered User
Messages
39
Hi,
I have a nominee account with Campbell O’Connor which I am charged €40 annually as it holds 2 US stocks. One of the US stocks is from an Employee share scheme and each year when the stocks mature I get them transferred to this nominee account. I am charged €50 each time the transfer is made. So my total annual charge is €90. I read Cantor Fitzgerald‘s charges and I don’t understand them. Please could you recommend stockbrokers that I move my 2 stocks to, preferably with lower costs but reasonably safe too. Thanks.
 

Grizzly

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796
I have had an account with Campbell O'Connor for over 20 years. I have about £80k sitting to my credit in a Sterling account with them.

I buy and sell occasionally and I have always received a share certificate when I make a purchase. I am charged .5% in fees total per purchase and .5% U.K. Stamp duty on purchases. There is no charge for providing the share certificate to me and no charge to me when I send them the share certificate on a sale. I am charged a flat £50 fee on all sales.

I am not charged an account maintenance fee per annum.


I have just had a look at Cantor Fitzgeralds fees. There is an account maintenance fee of .75% per annum. Commission charges considerably higher. (I don't really understand their fee structure so if someone could explain it to me it would be great). It appears that I will also be charged for leaving money with them. I will also be charged every time I receive or send them a share certificate.

I cannot see how I can transfer my account to Cantor Fitzgerald and make money on trades with their fees/costs.

If anyone has done some of the groundwork on this I would love to hear their views and recommendations.
 

Ravima

Frequent Poster
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2,483
Perhaps you could consider moving the GBP to an account in Ulster NI?? Then use a GB based stockbroker. You can find some with low commissions, but you will find it difficult to find someone to deal with in certificated form. They all tend to use nominee a/c.
 

Zenith63

Frequent Poster
Messages
322
Which Irish stockbroker has the lowest fees at the moment? Do any of them still deal with share certificates?
I've been looking for a replacement for Campbell O'Connor myself. I came across this table that DeGiro have done up of transaction fees - https://www.degiro.ie/fees/compare-brokers/ - it seems to be accurate and has most of the brokers you'd probably consider as an Irish investor. Short answer is that DeGiro are very significantly cheaper than the others out there, and I just noticed that they also give you one commission free ETF trade per month, which is quite neat if you just wanted to build up holdings in a small pool of ETFs.

Having said that, if you were still with Campbell O'Connor the chances are you weren't there for the cheap fees, you were there because they'd let you trade in certificated form or have a CREST personal account, neither of which DeGiro do - they are pure online 'nominee account' style brokers. Maybe we could figure out which brokers offer CREST personal accounts and share here for others in the same quandary?

  • DeGiro - No CREST personal accounts or physical certificates. All shares held in a separate entity, unclear how that entity holds the shares (pooled in a CREST account in the name of the DeGiro separate entity presumably)
  • Davy - Website is a little unclear. Shares are held in a separate entity which uses CREST to hold shares, with one CREST account per client. However these don't appear to be personal CREST accounts, so your name will not appear on the share register of companies and communication from the companies will presumably not come directly to you. "Our nominee company is a member of CREST and its name appears on the share registers for these assets. Our nominee company operates individually designated CREST accounts for all clients who hold CREST eligible securities through Davy. This means that there are separate accounts within CREST for each Davy client. Client accounts are segregated from each other as well as from those of the firm."
  • Goodbody - No clear statement on website, but there are CREST forms available to transfer your shares to their "Goodbody Nominees" CREST company, so looks like they use CREST to hold shares but their name goes on the share register, so again a form of nominee account.
  • InteractiveInvestor - No mention of CREST personal accounts either, appears to be a separate entity that holds the shares in a CREST account in their name
  • Cantor Fitzgerald - There are a number of mentions of CREST personal accounts on their site as well as a form for creating one, so looks good
  • Merrion Capital - No mention of CREST personal accounts on their site, but their share transfer form is pre-filled to a CREST nominee entity, so looks like this is a pooled nominee account similar to many of the brokers above.

Also worth considering what impact Brexit may have on CREST, which while being owned by Euroclear (a Belgian company) is a London based entity. From the Euroclear site -
"Euroclear UK & Ireland is pleased to confirm that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has recognised Euroclear UK & Ireland as a third country CSD in accordance with Article 25 of the EU CSD Regulation.

This ensures that Euroclear UK & Ireland will be able to continue its Irish securities settlement services after March 2019 in a no-deal Brexit scenario. Euroclear UK & Ireland's recognition will apply from 30 March 2019 to 30 March 2021, by which time it is expected that the Irish securities market will have migrated to Euroclear Bank.

Euroclear UK & Ireland is working with the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Ireland regarding continued euro settlement services in a no-deal Brexit scenario and will update clients in due course."
 
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Tintagel

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391
Also...I purchase shares that pay high dividends. How do online brokers deal with these dividends if paid in to a nominee account and is there a charge for dealing with dividends.
 

Zenith63

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322
Davy - Website is a little unclear. Shares are held in a separate entity which uses CREST to hold shares, with one CREST account per client. However these don't appear to be personal CREST accounts, so your name will not appear on the share register of companies and communication from the companies will presumably not come directly to you. "Our nominee company is a member of CREST and its name appears on the share registers for these assets. Our nominee company operates individually designated CREST accounts for all clients who hold CREST eligible securities through Davy. This means that there are separate accounts within CREST for each Davy client. Client accounts are segregated from each other as well as from those of the firm.
I got a reply from CREST/Euroclear which clarifies this setup that Davy appear to be using, in short your shares are held in separate CREST accounts, but they're all in the name of the nominee company, not your own name -
"If firms are not willing to offer you Personal Membership then please note that in the coming months (at the least by the end of the year), firms subject to new CSDR regulations, will be obliged to offer you account segregation, should you wish. This may not be in the form of the Personal Member you have now, whereby you receive your own CREST participant ID, and your name appears on the legal register. It is more likely that firms will offer this segregation as a sub-account ('Member Account') in CREST. In this model the name of the stockbroker (or nominee company) would appear on the legal register, but your shares would be segregated from those of other underlying clients of the stockbroker/nominee in CREST."

In summary, Cantor Fitzgerald are the only brokers in Ireland I found that offer Personal Member CREST accounts.
 

EmmDee

Registered User
Messages
226
If a person has 10 x €35k transactions per annum. Is this .9% fee calculated on the €350,000 total amount of deals?

Is this considered low cost?
No - there is no transactional cost according to the poster. So those would be free. What is charged is an annualised charge of the average value in your account. Which would be €3,150 per annum on your €350k portfolio (or €262 per month). That seems high to me and I wondered if it should read as .09% rather than .9% (9bp would seem closer to normal than 90bp).

So I went to their site to check - but it's a complete disaster. Takes about 5 mins to load each page - so every time I click a link it takes another 5 mins. I've tried it on Chrome and IE. Tried on my desktop and mobile - same result. Anyway, what I found....

It is .9% - so pretty hefty. It is subject to a €400 pa minimum. They do exclude any Davy's funds from the calculation of value so essentially a free ride with the in-house assets. It is charged twice a year based on the value at a point in time rather than average value.

However - the "no transaction" fee doesn't apply to "non Irish and non UK" securities. So any transactions involving non Irish / UK shares, ETF's, bonds or options incur a .06% fee plus €25 settlement charge.

There are also standard charges which apply to all Davys accounts- the most relevant probably being €80 to lodge a physical certificate into your account and €30 per instruction to move assets from your account (electronically I assume)
 
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IsleOfMan

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718
What is charged is an annualised charge of the average value in your account. Which would be €3,150 per annum on your €350k portfolio (or €262 per month).
So if I were to purchase €35k of shares I would normally be charged a commission of 1%. So that's €350. If two days later I were to sell these shares I would normally be charged 1% so another €350. So €700.

Therefore 10 trades a year, buying and selling, would with most brokers cost me 10 x €350 = €3500. With the .9% fee charged by Davy it would cost me less. €3150.

Am I calculating this right?

I understand that these are self trades. I am given a platform to trade on. I do the buying and the selling myself. If I need to contact Davy by phone I believe there is a €100 charge?

Doe anyone know if the Davy platform allows me to trade shares at live prices?
 

Zenith63

Frequent Poster
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322
Is CREST hugely important?
CREST is the digital equivalent of holding physical share certificates yourself, where you are the named owner of the shares and are listed as a share holder on the register of the companies you invest in.

The other alternative is where the broker puts their name on the share register, and keeps a record of which shares belong to whom etc. There was a case a few years back where a stockbroker went out of business and the proceeds from the sale of client funds was used to pay creditors.

If you’re trading or just holding for a short period of time or only have a small amount invested then nominee makes life easier and cheaper for you. If you’re buying to hold long term then personally I prefer the security of having the shares in your own name. The latter was what Campbell O’Connor were known for, so for people leaving them CREST tends to be a common theme.
 

EmmDee

Registered User
Messages
226
So if I were to purchase €35k of shares I would normally be charged a commission of 1%. So that's €350. If two days later I were to sell these shares I would normally be charged 1% so another €350. So €700.

Therefore 10 trades a year, buying and selling, would with most brokers cost me 10 x €350 = €3500. With the .9% fee charged by Davy it would cost me less. €3150.

Am I calculating this right?
I think so - as long as you are trading UK / Irish assets.

But I can do better if you like. According to their fees and charges page (you'll have to verify - there's no way I'm trying to open that again), they calculate portfolio value twice a year (I think end May and end November or similar) and then charge the .9% fee at end of the following month. So, if you bought and sold in-between as much as you want but closed off positions before the calculation date, you'd only be charged the minimum €400pa (actually that would mean you have just over €44k in the account and still be at the minimum.
 

Zenith63

Frequent Poster
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322
Claris. You might clarify if the execution only trades are live prices. No point in getting delayed prices.
To be fair, for a Campbell O’Connor customer interested in a personal CREST account (the context of this thread), live prices probably aren’t that important, you’ll tend to be holding for years so a few cents means little.


Though FWIW DeGiro have a fee comparison of their site which seems accurate - https://www.degiro.ie/fees/compare-brokers/
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,655
I have been distracted by other issues and haven't had time to look at this.

I tend to keep shares in certs where I can. But I have two shareholdings in my Crest account which could be in share certs so the first thing I should do is to get them transferred to certs.

The others are long term holdings. I rarely trade.

I don't want to pay 0.9% a year for someone to hold a Crest Account. Cheap or free dealing is of no interest to me.

I looked at DeGiro and can't figure out how much they charge for holding my shares for me if I don't trade?

Brendan
 
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SlurrySlump

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518
It is .9% - so pretty hefty. It is subject to a €400 pa minimum. They do exclude any Davy's funds from the calculation of value so essentially a free ride with the in-house assets. It is charged twice a year based on the value at a point in time rather than average value.
In my case I hold a specific share to get the high dividend. In between ex dividend dates I also trade the share. I only take my profits out of my account.

So I open an account with €60k and purchase my share. I then trade this share 6 times throughout the year. Basically leaving a hard core €60k in my account. What are my charges likely to be.

Davy Select present a very competitive offering at 0.9% per annum with zero trading commissions
If this .9% is charged twice yearly then surely it's not .9% per annum?
 

Zenith63

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322
Which seems to conflict with...
Those fees from DeGiro are per transaction, not per annum. The "Custody" name on that document is a little confusing, it's actually the name of the type of account you're opening, not that the fees in it are custody/holding fees. So when you buy your €10000 holding it would cost you €17.30 on that trade, but you would not pay to hold those shares in years 2/3/4 etc. The only thing you would appear to have to pay ongoing is a connection fee for each exchange you use beyond the ISE, so in your case €2.50 per annum to have a 'connection' to the Frankfurt exchange.

The DeGiro pricing is incredibly reasonable, but there's a fairly big difference between having an online trading account with them, and a CREST PMA with the likes of Campbell O'Connor. I'm buying shares that I may end up passing on to my kids when I pop the clogs, which seems reasonable with share certs or a CREST account, but an online trading account? Feels like you'd be sticking your username/password in your will or something :confused:

As far as I know, Campbell O'Connor charged only €50 a year account maintenance?
That's what I was paying as well, for a CREST PMA. But as jpd says, I'd imagine it was hard to make money at prices like this, especially when you're known as a buy&hold broker where there aren't huge amounts of transaction fees either. I'll miss the guys there, always found them great to deal with and I started into the stockmarket with them :(
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,655
I signed on to DeGiro but am a little unsure about the security side of things as I'd much prefer to have the share certificates in my hand.
Hi Opus

Only Irish and UK companies issue share certificates.

If you want to buy shares outside these countries, you will have to use some form of nominee holding.

If you have Irish shares in a Crest Account with Campbell O'Connor, ask them to convert them into share certificates.

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,655
Those fees from DeGiro are per transaction, not per annum.
That is great. So I can transfer my shares pay some small transaction fees for setting up the account and very little after that.

So what is the financial status of De Giro?

Who actually has custody of the shares?

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,655
What happens if I want to sell the shares I have in certificates?

I will have an account with DeGiro. Will I have to open another one with some other broker who handles shares certs?

Or will DeGiro allow me to dematerialise my shares?

Brendan
 

Zenith63

Frequent Poster
Messages
322
Also -

https://www.degiro.ie/helpcenter/faq/my-account/1120
What is the difference between the Basic and Custody profiles?
A Custody profile is different from a Basic profile in that the securities are held separately from the lending pool of DEGIRO clients’ securities and are thus unable to be loaned to third parties. Debit Money, Debit Securities, and Derivative trading is not available with a Custody profile and you cannot change to an Active, Trader, or Day Trader account. A Custody Profile has different conditions and fees. However you will still benefit from our low transaction costs and save money through trading with DEGIRO.

So worth opting for a Custody account instead of a Basic account if you're not interested in margin trading or derivatives I think.


Nice little cost comparison between the various Irish broker options here, and it seems to be quite accurate from the digging I have been doing - https://www.degiro.ie/fees/compare-brokers/
 
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