Elliott Advisors: The activist US hedge fund shaking up Britain

Tim Wallace
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Paul Singer set up Elliott in 1977, which now has units across the US, UK and Hong Kong
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.

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