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F&C urges vote to block Sherborne board bid

F&C has called on shareholders to vote against Sherborne Investors’ plans to remove chairman Nick MacAndrew and Brian Lacombe from F&C’s board.

Sherborne, which has built up a 17.5 per cent stake in the asset manager, wants to appoint founder Edward Bramson as well as Ian Brindle and Derham O’Neill to the board, with the hope of Bramson taking on the chairman’s role.

Sherborne has requisitioned a general meeting to propose the changes on February 3.

F&C says its current strategy is working and it believes that these calls by Sherborne are damaging and destabilising to the business.

F&C senior independent director Keith Bedell-Pearce says the move is not in shareholders’ best interests and may also impair the asset manager’s relations with other key shareholders, including key staff, clients, investment consultants, financial advisers, fund rating agencies and distribution partners.

He says: “The resolutions come at a time when stability has finally been achieved after a prolonged period of damaging ownership uncertainty and when the board is united on a clear turn-round strategy.”

F&C points to improved investment performance over the past three years, as well as gaining net inflows for the first nine months of 2010.

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