Swiss fund manager’s board set to resign after takeover bid by UK rival Liontrust collapses
A struggling Swiss fund manager’s entire board plans to resign after a takeover bid by UK rival Liontrust collapsed under pressure from a rebel investor group.
Ailing GAM said that the activist group – which includes Rock Investment and wealth manager Bruellan and are headed by French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel – will propose new board directors at an emergency general meeting in September.
Shareholders rejected the Liontrust deal last week, with just 33.5 per cent voting in favour.
The group led by Niel had criticised the offer, saying it undervalued GAM and did not recognise the value a turnaround could generate for shareholders.
GAM has faced a tumultuous few years after its involvement in a scandal at collapsed lender Greensill Capital in 2018.
French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel (pictured) – is leading a rebel investor group which is set to propose new GAM board directors at an emergency general meeting in September
This led to a multi-million-pound fine and the exit of former star manager Tim Haywood and chief executive Alexander Friedman.
GAM had insisted that the success of the Liontrust offer was essential to ‘continue as a going concern’ as it urged shareholders to support the proposals.
All of GAM’s board members are planning to quit when the new directors are elected at the end of next month.
It said the existing board recommends that shareholders approve the election of the proposed directors.
Following the failure of the takeover deal, GAM will have to repay a £8.9million loan, plus interest, to Liontrust within 30 days.