Alliance Trust’s activist shareholder Laxey makes a fresh set of demands

ACTIVIST shareholder Laxey Partners has renewed its battle with investment fund Alliance Trust by asking it to consider outsourcing the management of its assets.

The hedge fund also called on Alliance to look at how to improve the performance of its investments and the discount at which its shares trade relative to their net asset value (NAV).

In a letter it urged the board to reject a “poor status quo” over fund management.

“We believe that an external manager would result in a lower flat fee which, if allied to a performance fee, would protect shareholders from excessive charging in falling markets and incentivizes the manager to maximise the return to shareholders in all market conditions.”

It is a controversial move by the two per cent shareholder. It hopes to tap into lingering investor discontent following last year’s dispute, when it lost a bid to force Alliance to buy back shares when its share price fell more than ten per cent below NAV.

However Alliance, which last week raised its dividend, is privately confident it can win another battle.

The hedge fund’s resolutions will be put to shareholders at Alliance’s annual general meeting on 27 April.