Investments 

Former fund manager wrestles for control of trust

Former fund manager wrestles for control of trust

Robin Boyle, the industry veteran who resigned as managing director and fund manager of the Athelney investment trust in October, has called a shareholder meeting with a view to returning to his previous role.

Mr Boyle resigned after almost a quarter of a century in charge of the £5m trust, leaving the fund management responsibility to be assumed by chairman Emmanuel Pohl, with Simon Moore becoming chairman.

Mr Boyle has now partnered with specialist fund management business Gresham House to restructure the board and restore him to his previous role as fund manager of the smaller companies investment trust.

In addition to Gresham House providing administrative and compliance support in the short term, the company would be part of the succession planning for the fund management of the trust.

The board of Athelney responded by making a tender offer to shareholders, meaning they will seek to buy back shares at a higher price with a view to rallying support from the remaining, more amenable investors.

Mr Boyle, who is 74 years old, is himself a substantial shareholder in the trust.

During Mr Boyle’s time as fund manager, Athelney returned less than half the average return for the AIC UK Smaller Companies sector.

The trust's board is expected to inform shareholders of the date of the meeting in due course. 

david.thorpe@ft.com