F&C Asset Management Chair Ousted By Activist Investment Firm

Sherborne, the activist investment firm, has succeeded in ousting Nicholas MacAndrew, chairman of F&C Asset Management, at an emergency shareholder meeting today.

Shareholders voted to remove MacAndrew, along with director Brian Larcombe, and replace them on the board with Sherborne chairman Edward Bramson and two of his allies.

‘The board has been reconstituted in line with the wishes of the majority of shareholders,’ comments MacAndrew in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

‘It is time for putting differences of opinion and judgment aside, for building bridges and – most particularly – for remembering that what matters most are the best interests of F&C, its shareholders, staff and other stakeholders.’

The meeting was the climax of a long-running campaign by Sherborne to take control at F&C and change the asset manager’s strategy.

Sherborne, which has amassed an 18 per cent stake in F&C, had argued that the asset manager has a weak strategy and that recent acquisitions would not add to shareholder value.

In response, F&C had defended its strategy, questioned the track record of Bramson and claimed Sherborne had no alternative plan for the business.

‘The new directors are grateful for the support shown by shareholders and very much look forward to working with our new board colleagues to bring a fresh perspective to the company’s strategic direction, to the benefit of all shareholders, clients and staff,’ says Bramson in the statement.

Around two thirds of shareholders voted to remove MacAndrew and Larcombe, with the resolutions needing 51 per cent to succeed. The total number of votes cast represented more than 80 per cent of F&C’s total issued share capital.

Bramson’s nomination to the board was passed by 70 per cent of shareholder votes.

Along with Bramson, the other Sherborne nominees joining F&C’s board are Ian Brindle, a former chairman of PwC, and ex-Clifford Chance partner Derham O’Neill.

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