Laxey attacks Alliance Trust voting rules

ACTIVIST investor Laxey Partners has raised "serious concerns" regarding a shareholder voting scheme at Alliance Trust that it says may give rise to a conflict of interest between board members and shareholders.

Laxey Partners, which is campaigning for the firm to introduce a share buy back scheme, has written to the Alliance Trust board and published a letter to shareholders highlighting its concerns about what it believes is a "deeply unfair" voting scheme which acts as a "poison pill" for AGM resolutions not backed by the board.

Laxey highlighted Alliance Trust's use of a "shareholder enfranchisement facility" which means some votes, mainly those held through Alliance Trust Savings, are allocated in line with those of active voters without consent or knowledge of the shareholder.

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Although ATS shares would not usually have a vote without the facility, Pirc, the corporate governance consultancy, said Laxey has a "legitimate beef".

Laxey have proposed two resolutions to be put to shareholder vote at the next AGM. Alliance trust declined to comment.