F&C fights back at Sherborne as sees assets rise

UNDER FIRE F&C Asset Management delivered a blow in the fight to suppress rebel shareholder Sherborne Investors yesterday, after it posted increased assets under management (AUM).

The firm’s board said strong net inflows last year showed its strategy to steer the company away from years of underperformance was working.

F&C increased AUM to £105.8bn at the end of last year, compared to £97.8bn the year before, with net business inflows of £3.7bn over 2010 after four years of net outflows.

Chairman of F&C Nick MacAndrew, who has faced calls from Sherborne to step down, said the rebel shareholder had “contributed nothing” to any of the company’s progress.

He said: “Sherborne is simply looking to benefit from the hard work the current board and F&C staff have done to improve the group’s performance and create value for all shareholders.”

Investors will decide next week in an extraordinary general meeting vote, tabled by Sherborne, whether to replace MacAndrew and director Brian Larcombe with the activist investor’s representatives.

Sherborne said yesterday it was “fully aligned” with the interests of all F&C shareholders.