Search for 'truly' independent director

Alliance Trust hires headhunter in battle with rebel Elliott

Katherine Garrett-CoxAlliance Trust has hired headhunters to find a new director in a move designed to wrongfoot a rebel shareholder.

In a trading update Katherine Garrett-Cox, chief executive, made no mention of Elliott Advisers’ attempts to install three nominees to the board.

However, the board has accelerated its search for an independent non-executive director by appointing headhunter Russell Reynolds.

In a veiled dig at Elliott’s claim that its candidates are independent, the board said the appointee would be “truly”  independent.

The company said it was performing strongly and delivering for shareholders.

Its equity portfolio has outperformed its benchmark over one, three and six months under new management and its share price has hit all-time highs, exceeding 500p for the first time. Total shareholder return for the three months to the end of March was 6.9%.

Alliance Trust Investments (ATI) ended the quarter with more than £2 billion of third party assets under management (AUM).  ATI has a pipeline of prospective institutional clients and the Monthly Income Bond Fund generated £26.2 million of net inflows during the period.

Alliance Trust Savings increased account numbers and assets under administration (AUA) reached £7bn in March, before the pension changes came into effect in April and before the upgrade to the intermediary platform in the summer. AUA now stands at £7.3bn.

Ms Garret-Cox said: “We are pleased with the strong performance of Alliance Trust during the period which we believe shows that our strategy is working.

“The Trust has outperformed the global sector over the first three months of the year, a continuation of the work Peter Michaelis and Simon Clements have done since they were appointed in September of last year.

“Both of our subsidiaries have also shown very encouraging progress and continue to grow, with Alliance Trust Investments seeing the strongest ever quarterly net inflows in its bond funds and Alliance Trust Savings exceeding £7 billion in assets under administration for the first time.”


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