View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a873623
Former Morgan Grenfell boss to chair Alliance Trust
Alliance Trust has appointed former Morgan Grenfell boss Robert Smith to chair the global investment trust.
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.
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