LONDON Dec 15 Scottish asset manager Alliance
Trust announced an overhaul of its strategy on
Thursday, including outsourcing its equity portfolio management
to a group of external investment managers.
The 128-year-old-trust announced the plan following a six
month review, and said it aims to double its pace of
outperformance against a global equity benchmark index.
The changes come after Alliance, one of Britain's largest
investment trusts, faced pressure last year from activist
investor Elliott Advisors who said it needed a shake-up given
the fund's underperformance and the gap between its shares and
the value of the assets it holds.
Under the new strategy Alliance, which has total assets of
about 3.6 billion pounds ($4.51 billion), will move from having
its internal team manage its equity investments to using eight
external managers that will each create a portfolio for the
trust of around 20 stocks. Equity investments make up 99 pct of
the firm's net assets.
Its in-house investment team, Alliance Trust Investments,
will be sold to Liontrust Asset Management for up to 30 million
Chairman Robert Smith said in a statement he was confident
"this investment approach will help to improve Alliance Trust's
performance on a consistent basis."
Shares in Alliance Trust were up 1.7 pct at 607 pence at
0953 GMT, just off their all time record high.
Elliott forced Alliance Trust's Chief Executive Katherine
Garrett-Cox, one of the City of London's most high profile women
in business, to step down from the group's board in October
2015. She also stood down as head of Alliance Trust Investments
In June the trust received an informal merger approach by
RIT Capital Partners, the investment trust of financier Jacob
Rothschild, which later walked away from the negotiating table
saying a deal would not be in the best interests of its
($1 = 0.7980 pounds)
(Reporting By Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)