Alliance Trust chairman Karin Forseke has appealed to shareholders to vote against the Elliott resolutions in a letter ahead of the annual general meeting on April 29.
Ms Forseke acknowledged that shareholders will have “read a great deal of media coverage” about the requisition from activist shareholder Elliott Advisors to appoint three additional directors to the trust’s board.
She suggested that “after all the claims and counterclaims have been made, it comes down to a simple question: Who do you trust to run your company?”.
“My fellow directors and I are acutely aware of our responsibility for the stewardship of the company’s heritage and its role in creating and protecting our investors’ wealth for over 126 years,” she added.
“It is this that underpins our vision ‘to be the UK’s most trusted investment and savings business’. We believe that the strategy we have set for our company will help us to achieve this vision, by delivering strong and sustainable investment performance for shareholders over the longer term.”
The letter comes a day after global corporate governance adviser ISS backed a shake-up of the board.
Ms Forseke claimed that as a hedge fund business, Elliott Advisors “have very different perspectives from other shareholders of Alliance Trust”.
The chairman of Alliance Trust set out to shareholders that the issue is not with the three candidates that have been proposed by Elliott Advisors, but with their plans for the trust.
She added: “To date, neither Elliott nor the candidates they have proposed join your board have shared their plans.”
Towards the end of the letter, Ms Forseke said the board of Alliance Trust “unanimously recommends that you should vote against the Elliott resolutions”.