Auditor under attack

Deloitte warned over Garrett-Cox error

Katherine Garrett-Cox 3Alliance Trust has taken issue with auditor Deloitte after bonus payments for former CEO Katherine Garrett-Cox and previous finance director Alan Trotter were overstated.

The cumulative effect of the mistake was to inflate their remuneration by around £100,000.

Shareholders at the trust’s AGM last week heard the amended figures will be published in its annual report for 2016 and the correct amount will be paid.

Pay and bonuses of key staff have been closely scrutinised as part of activist investor Elliott Advisors’ attack on the company.

Its intervention last year forced a shake-up of the board with Ms Garrett-Cox eventually leaving the company.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman, said the issue was being investigated internally. Calum Thomson, lead audit partner from Deloitte, told shareholders the mistake should not have happened.

The Sunday Times reported that a similar incident had taken place three years ago.

Speaking after the meeting, Lord Smith told the paper: “It is not life-threatening to the company, but it shouldn’t happen. The auditors know that three strikes and they are out. Absolutely, it is being dealt with. To think there is something of an overpayment of £100,000 is not something that investors want to hear. We take it very seriously.”

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