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Company unveils £6m cost-cutting plan

Garrett-Cox steps down from Alliance Trust board in shake-up

Katherine Garrett-Cox 4Katherine Garret-Cox (left) is stepping down from the board of Alliance Trust in a £6 million cost-saving shake-up at the Dundee-based company.

Chief financial officer Alan Trotter is leaving to join another listed company.

Ms Garrett-Cox will remain as chief executive and a director of Alliance Trust Investments.

The main board will be reorganised to become fully independent, comprising solely of non-executive directors.  A separate board, including independent non-executive directors, will be established for ATI in order to ensure the necessary separation of shareholder and investment manager interests.

Susan Noble will become chairman of ATI and, as a consequence, will also retire from the board of the Plc when the new arrangements take effect.

The acquisition of Stocktrade is expected to strengthen ATS’s position as one of the leading platform providers in the UK and the board expects it to make a meaningful profit in 2016.

In a statement the Board said it “considers that this is an appropriate time to establish an independent board for ATS to support the future development of the business and the recruitment process for its chair is under way.

“This revised governance structure provides the board with greater clarity and flexibility in managing these two investments.”

Karin ForsekeKarin Forseke, Chair of Alliance Trust PLC, said: “At our interim results in July, I acknowledged that the first half of 2015 had been a particularly challenging period for Alliance Trust. In the run up to our AGM, many of our shareholders indicated that they sought change. We have carefully considered the feedback we received and this is reflected in this announcement.

“The actions announced today, taken together, represent some of the biggest changes in our history and are designed to further improve shareholder value. They will provide our shareholders with an investment trust which aims to outperform a clear benchmark from a cost base which is among the lowest in the sector.  In addition we plan to continue to pay a progressive dividend and create shareholder value from our investment in two profitable subsidiary businesses, beginning in 2016. All of this is underpinned by the board’s commitment to a single figure discount.

“These changes have the full support of the board. Implementation will require considerable further work by the team but we believe that as a result Alliance Trust will be significantly better positioned for the future.

“We would like to thank Alan for his contribution to Alliance Trust over the last five years, culminating in the work he has done on the changes announced today.  We understand his decision not to remain with ATI and wish him the very best in his future career.

“While we are sorry that we will lose Susan’s wise counsel as a director of Alliance Trust PLC, I am delighted that she has agreed to lead the board of ATI as it enters an exciting stage in its development.

“Finally, I would like to thank Katherine for her contribution to the Board over the past eight years and I am confident that under her leadership ATI will create significant value for our shareholders.”

>> As I See It: Comment on what the changes mean

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