A former board director at asset management giant Jupiter has slammed the firm’s leadership and warned bosses the firm is at risk of a takeover if they fail to arrest a slide in share price.
In a letter to the firm’s chair Nichola Pease seen by City A.M., asset management veteran Jon Little, who holds a personal stake worth millions of pounds and served as a non-executive director between 2011 and 2016, said the firm had “lost its way” and warned it was at risk of a hostile swoop.
“I believe that Jupiter can have a bright future as a public company but if the board and management cannot demonstrate an attractive investment case for the firm then others may take advantage of this weakness,” he wrote.
“It is time to act if the firm is to remain independent.”
Jupiter’s share price has plunged over 70 per cent in the past five years, falling over 50 per cent in the last three years alone, while its funds have been notching outflows since 2017.
At a trading update on the 26th April, Jupiter reported a surge in net outflows of £1.6bn in the first quarter of this year, which it chalked up to a turbulent investor environment.
But in his letter to bosses, Little said boss Andrew Formica had presided over a period of sustained underperformance and questioned his position.
“There are numerous metrics under which Formica’s previous tenure as joint-CEO at Janus Henderson or prior period as CEO of Henderson Group can be judged but under almost any rational measure whether shareholder returns, net sales, investment performance, ROE or operating margin the
results can only be charitably described as disappointing,” he said.
“It is difficult to see how any rational board could have concluded that Formica was ‘just the man for the job’.”
Little added that he had now voted against the reappointment of Formica as a director and warned ‘business as usual’ was not an option for the firm.
A Jupiter spokesperson said in a statement today it “listens to and respects” the views of shareholders and will respond to Little directly.
“We have a clear, consistent strategy which we are focused on executing,” the spokesperson said.
“We are confident that we have the right foundations in place to deliver on this, underpinned by our strong capital position. We will continue to update the market on our progress.”