F&C Asset Management Plc (FCAM), which oversees the U.K.’s oldest investment fund, said Chief Executive Officer Alain Grisay will step down in May.
Chairman Edward Bramson becomes executive chairman and will gradually be assuming Grisay’s responsibilities, F&C said in a statement today.
“Alain has been with F&C for over 10 years,” Bramson said in the statement. “During this time Alain has led F&C to an independent stock market listing, achieved the successful acquisition of Thames River and steered the company through the most tumultuous period of market upheaval for 60 years.”
Bramson, 60, founder of activist shareholder Sherborne Investors LLC, gained investor support to oust Chairman Nick MacAndrew in February after criticizing the company’s levels of debt and recent acquisitions. At a meeting that month, Bramson said he planned to work with the company’s current management to formulate a new strategy.
MacAndrew and F&C’s management, including Grisay, 57, had urged investors to reject Sherborne’s proposals, saying they would destabilize the business. Bramson said he’d like Grisay to stay in his post, the Times of London reported on Feb. 4, a day after he became chairman.
“The announcement is not a big surprise in our view given the historical difference between the incumbent CEO and Sherborne,” wrote David McCann, an analyst at Numis Securities Ltd. in London who has a “hold” rating on the stock. “We continue to regard the stock as uninvestable” until a strategic review, scheduled for October, is announced, McCann wrote.
The company in March posted a full-year net loss of 16.6 million pounds ($25.6 million) compared with a profit of 15.9 million pounds a year earlier as operating expenses and financing costs rose.
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