The ejection of Nicholas MacAndrew from the F&C boardroom last week has kicked off a wave of new shareholder activism in the UK. The latest aggressor is Laxey Partners, the Isle of Man-based hedge fund, which is campaigning for a new share buyback mechanism at investment firm Alliance Trust.
In a letter to Alliance’s shareholders and board, Laxey calls for a buyback program to kick in every time the discount to net asset value climbs above 10 per cent, reports the Daily Telegraph. The discount is currently around 16 per cent, according to the newspaper.
Laxey also wants a change to the investment firm’s voting system, which it claims might give the board an unfair advantage over shareholders. Alliance has not yet commented on the letter but is expected to defend itself rigorously to shareholders.
News of Laxey’s activism comes just a day after shareholders called for Alan Walker, chairman of Healthcare Locums, to step down. A number of investors believe Walker is partly to blame for an accounting scandal at the hospital staffing company.