Elliott Advisors is the UK subsidiary of a much larger American group, which began life in 1977 when it was established by Paul Elliott Singer.
Its British arm has a reputation for activism which is not always welcomed by companies’ executives, as the hedge fund analyses performance and pushes for changes to squeeze better returns.
Recent efforts include a bid to break up National Express, and another to sell off supermarket giant Morrisons’ property assets.
Its most successful staff receive extraordinary payouts for their efforts – the firm’s most recent financial results, from 2013, show that its best-paid director took home £38.1m that year.
The huge pay packet represents more than half of the UK arm’s £72m wage and salaries bill for the year. And it compares to a turnover of £103.1m.
Its current effort to change the way Alliance Trust is run has included a charm offensive, as it wants to win over a majority of 60,000 small shareholders.