Garrett-Cox to leave Alliance Trust

Katherine Garrett-Cox

Dundee-based investment trust company Alliance Trust said on Monday that Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO of its subsidiary Alliance Trust Investments (ATI), would stand down as chief executive of ATI on March 11.

Alliance Trust said the move followed discussions between the board of ATI and Garrett-Cox about the future requirement for the chief executive role and the departure was mutually agreed.

Garrett-Cox joined Alliance Trust in 2007 and she was paid £1.4 million last year and £1.3 million in 2014.

“The responsibilities of the chief executive will be reassigned,” said Alliance Trust.

“ATI’s experienced team of investment professionals will continue to manage the £5 billion of funds.

“Investment responsibilities are led by Peter Michaelis and the team who joined ATI in 2012 and have been managing the trust’s equity portfolio since October 2014.

“Operational responsibilities will be passed to Ramsay Urquhart as managing director, ATI.”

The departure is the latest move in a year of upheaval at Alliance Trust.

Alliance, which has been under prolonged pressure from US activist shareholder Elliott Advisors to restructure, said in November that previous chair Karin Forseke would leave her post on January 1.

Forseke’s departure followed big changes at Alliance Trust in October which included Garrett-Cox stepping down as chief executive of Alliance’s parent company but remaining as boss of its fund management subsidiary ATI.

Veteran Scottish financier and businessman Robert Smith, Lord Smith of Kelvin, was recently appointed the new chairman of Alliance Trust.

Smith said on Monday: “Alliance Trust is undergoing significant change to improve both its operating performance and investment returns.

“It has always had investment expertise at its heart and Katherine has done much, over the past nine years, to refocus the investment portfolio on its traditional strengths in global equities.

“Alliance Trust is now moving swiftly to implement the changes announced last year which are designed to enhance shareholder returns.

“This process is well underway and it is clear to us all that the role of chief executive of Alliance Trust Investments has changed significantly. I and the rest of the board wish Katherine every success in the future.”

Garrett-Cox said: “I am very proud of the significant achievements that my team has delivered over the past nine years at Alliance Trust.

“It has been an honour to have had the opportunity to represent and protect the long-term interests of so many shareholders and to have been a guardian of the Trust’s historic purpose of investing for generations.

“I leave Alliance Trust Investments with a strong team who are already delivering improved investment returns and driving down costs.”

Alliance Trust added: “Compensation for loss of office will be paid in line with Alliance Trust PLC’s remuneration policy and the terms of Katherine’s contract.”