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Former Morgan Grenfell boss to chair Alliance Trust

Alliance Trust has appointed former Morgan Grenfell boss Robert Smith to chair the global investment trust.

 
Former Morgan Grenfell boss to chair Alliance Trust

Alliance Trust (ATST ) has appointed former Morgan Grenfell boss Robert Smith to chair the global investment trust from next month following the departure of Karin Forseke.

Smith was chief executive and later vice chair of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management between 1996 and 2002, when the business was the largest pension provider in the UK.

‘Alliance Trust is an important business with a long and proud history in Scotland and around the world,’ he said in a statement.

‘I am looking forward to getting started and playing my part in delivering the changes that are necessary to return the trust to the levels of performance upon which it has earned its reputation and success.’

Forseke, who had chaired the board for four years, played a strong role in the company’s resistance to pressure from Elliott Advisors, describing the fund as ‘aggressive’ and ‘potentially destructive’, before the trust later conceded to some of the activist investors' demands, including the appointment of two new board directors.

Smith currently chairs the Green Investment Bank, Forth Ports Limited and engineering group IMI (IMI). He has also previously chaired pump and valve manufacturers Weir (WEIR) and utility provider SSE (SSE), and served as a non-executive director of Standard Bank.

Analysts at Numis said the changes to Alliance Trust's board had left the trust 'largely unencumbered by legacy issues'. 'In our view this leaves it better placed to make strategic changes to deliver on its focus "on performance, on creating natural demand for the shares and on reducing the trust's discount,' they said.

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

John N Coles

Jan 14, 2016 at 12:18

Good to get a man in place instead of all these grotesquely inadequate females. Cue the harpies.......

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Roger Hutton

Jan 14, 2016 at 16:38

I still think that we need to get rid of 'Catherine the Great'

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The Old Man

Jan 14, 2016 at 17:37

I believe that the recent changes are very positive for the Trust and its shareholders, but time is short if Elliots are to held ay bay and there can be no place for senior employees who fall short of expectations regardless of their illustrious nick names!

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peter montgomery

Jan 14, 2016 at 18:14

Katherine the Girate? Cant see her around in 6 months with all her stooges now departed.Her non-appearance at Davos(remember that?) will reduce expenses too!

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richard tomkin

Jan 15, 2016 at 15:48

The new man should be made to purchase a meaningful amount of shares with his own money - not options - ; there has to be a better alignment of interests between the people we engage to run the fund and the broader membership of the company.I would suggest £500,000 worth.

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