ALLIANCE Trust has been dealt yet another blow in its effort to stave off a boardroom shake-up after a corporate governance adviser sided with activist investor Elliott Advisors.
The hedge fund is seeking to have three new non-executive directors voted on to the Dundee firm’s board later this month, and earlier this week shareholder group Pirc advised shareholders to vote in favour of the move.
We recommend support for the three candidatesInstitutional Shareholder Services
US-based Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) yesterday threw its weight behind Elliott’s overhaul plan, arguing that “it seems clear that change is warranted at Alliance”.
The advisory group said the Tayside institution had underperformed most of its peers over “long periods of time” and its complex structure had contributed to high costs and executive pay. Katherine Garrett-Cox, chief executive of Alliance, has seen her total remuneration double to more than £1.3 million in the past five years, a period that has seen the trust’s total shareholder returns lag behind the Morningstar Global Sector Index.
Alliance claimed last month that Elliott’s proposed directors “cannot be considered to be independent”, prompting a scathing response from the hedge fund, which controls 12.2 per cent of the firm.
However, Pirc insisted this week that the three were independent and recommended shareholders vote for their appointment at Alliance’s annual meeting in Dundee on 29 April.
ISS said: “The addition of Peter Chambers, with extensive asset management experience, Rory Macnamara, with extensive public board and investment banking experience, and Anthony Brooke, with asset management and investment banking experience, would be beneficial for Alliance. We recommend support for the three candidates.”
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