This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Alliance Trust Voting Recommendations

ShareSoc has issued the following note to supporters of the Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group:

Shareholders in Alliance Trust should have received a Notice of a General Meeting on the 28th February. It includes 4 resolutions covering the change in investment approach and the proposed share buy back of shares held by Elliott.

Our recommendation is that shareholders vote “FOR” all the resolutions.

The Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group is satisfied that the new Board of Directors has made good progress in revitalising the Trust since it was appointed. The steps taken have substantially closed the share price discount to net asset value (a long standing concern of many investors), the disposal of the non-core Alliance Trust Investments (ATI) subsidiary has been agreed and steps taken to make Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) both profitable and able to stand on its own feet. The board structure and corporate governance of the company have been changed and are now in a more conventional form for investment trusts. The repurchase of the Elliot shares will avoid future pressure from them and the purchase appears to be at a fair price.

For those reasons we support the recommendation of the Directors to vote in favour of the resolutions. Please ensure you vote!

Note that many long-standing shareholders in Alliance Trust may have been disturbed by the aggressive stance taken by Elliott in May 2015 to reform the affairs of the Trust, which ShareSoc chose to support, after a long period of relative under-performance by the company. The outcome has demonstrated that shareholder activism can be positive if it is done in a way that is for the benefit of all shareholders and when the Directors respond in a positive way.

Please also recognise the considerable effort put in by ShareSoc and the Members of the Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group to communicate the issues to shareholders and try to achieve a positive outcome.

If you wish to support ShareSoc (the affairs of Alliance Trust is just one of the issues we have dealt with of late) then please consider Membership (see ) or consider a donation to help cover our costs (see )

See for more background information on the Alliance Trust campaign.

Roger Lawson

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