Gavin Oldham OBE – Founder and Chair
Since the mid-1970s, Gavin has been a strong advocate of a more egalitarian form of capitalism and inter-generational rebalancing.
This led to a business career in retail investment with a focus on individual share ownership. A partner with Wedd Durlacher Mordaunt before the 1986 re-organisation of the London Stock Exchange, Gavin founded Barclayshare (now Barclays Stockbrokers) in 1985, before leaving in 1990 to start The Share Centre. For thirty years he was chief executive and then chairman - and controlling shareholder - of Share plc and The Share Centre.
Significant initiatives taken during this period included the offer of free shares in the business to 90,000 customers in 2000, following the successful acquisition of Bradford & Bingley corporate Personal Equity Plans in 1999. Then, in 2006, he successfully campaigned for a change in company law in order to enfranchise nominee-based shareowners, and in 2011 he worked with The Share Centre’s large customer base to stop the EU Commission defining ordinary shares as ‘complex instruments’ and therefore out of the reach of ordinary people.
Having operated its own stock market for eight years, Share plc was floated on the AIM market in 2008. It undertook a number of acquisitions itself over the years, but in early 2020 agreed to merge with Interactive Investor. He served on the board of the merged business until May 2022 when it was sold to abrdn.
Gavin’s activities now include:
- Chair of Trustees, The Share Foundation (sharefound.org), the registered charity which operates the Department for Education’s Junior ISA & Child Trust Fund arrangements for young people in care. The Share Foundation is now also undertaking a major recovery campaign for the Child Trust Fund throughout the UK through its search facility https://findCTF.sharefound.org developed in conjunction with both HMRC and CTF account providers.
- Managing Director, Share Radio (shareradio.co.uk), which broadcasted on DAB digital radio from November 2014 to May 2017 and is now wholly online. Its purpose is to help people to become more confident with handling money and investments. Over the past five years Gavin has written over 270 weekly commentaries for the station.
- Fellow Commoner, King’s College Cambridge, also working with the University Economics Department, sponsoring the new four-year SHARE research fellowship designed to provide academic rigour for a more egalitarian form of capitalism.
- Lay member of the Oxford Diocesan Synod and member of the Oxford Diocese Investment Committee. From 1995 to 2021 Gavin was an elected lay member of the Church of England’s General Synod for the Oxford Diocese. He was a Church Commissioner and a member of its Assets Committee until December 2018, serving also on the Ethical Investment Advisory Group (on which he initiated the move to a much stronger Climate Change policy) and the Church Urban Fund.