ACTIVIST investor Elliott Advisors set out its stall against the management of FTSE100 investment group Alliance Trust yesterday, naming the three industry veterans it wants to add to the firm’s board.
Elliott argues that Alliance has underperformed against its peers, and it says that adding the three to the board will help to sharpen management’s focus on returns.
The investor wants former Legal and General Investment Management boss Peter Chambers, ex-SG Warburg exec Anthony Brooke, and former Morgan Grenfell executive Rory Macnamara to join the board.
“Our concerns include the persistent underperformance of Alliance Trust’s investment portfolio against its sector peers and relevant benchmarks; the high and inflexible nature of the cost of the trust’s internal investment management function; and the continuing losses in the company’s two operating subsidiaries, adding to the total costs borne by shareholders,” said Elliott in its request to have a vote on the three names added to the AGM.
Alliance, headed by chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox, disagrees with that assessment.
Alliance Trust believes costs are coming down, its performance and share price are heading in the right direction, and that it has added new non-executive directors as and when they are needed.
But the board has not yet decided whether or not to recommend shareholders vote in favour of the three at next month’s annual general meeting.