Activists lose key vote in fight against Sovereign

SOVEREIGNReversions has survived its no-holds-barred fight against a group of activist shareholders, after they lost a controversial vote to oust the property investment fund&rsquo;s board.<br /><br />The rebels planned to install Countrywide chairman Harry Hill as head of the fund and to sell off its assets to deliver instant income to investors, but only gained the support of 36 per cent of shareholders.<br /><br />Hill said he was &ldquo;disappointed&rdquo;, and had expected to win the vote up until a week ago.<br /><br />Sovereign boss Graeme Marshall said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been an expensive and time-consuming process.&rdquo; He described the scrap as a &ldquo;distraction&rdquo; from his investment work, but admitted it had drawn the firm&rsquo;s attention to the need to deliver income to investors.<br /><br />The activists came under fire after sending pre-ticked voting cards to the shareholders voting in favour of the plans. Hill said he was not behind the pre-ticked voting cards.