Activist investor targets Alliance Trust as analysts spot a buying opportunity


Alliance Trust has become a target for activist investors again with the New York based hedge fund Elliott Advisers calling for three new appointments
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Call me a cynic but I find it hard to believe that an activist hedge fund has anything other than its own interest at heart.

Change is needed at Alliance Trust and maybe they’ve done all they need to, with their new green investment policy, I don’t know, maybe it’s just a little bit too late as the JPM Cazenove analyst states but I think a hed funds interest is way shorter in its time horizon than an investment trust that dates back to 18 something or other, or for most of its investors who are long term holders.

Hopefully this will add some pressure to the Alliance Trust Board but I hope and expect Elliott to fail.



I agree with you @mikemoore Elliott is doing this only for short term gain. They’ll be out of there as soon as they’ve made a quick buck.

Although they’re interests aren’t fully in align with Alliance Trust shareholders it is helpful to have someone pressing them to change or at least not to take their eye off the ball.

Alliance Trust have got to get their new investment strategy to work and start making some money out of ATS.


This makes me so angry because the narrative is that Alliance Trust has shockingly bad performance. It doesnt. I’ve owned it since the 1990’s and I’ve done very well out of it. It’s had 48 years of increasing dividends and I am certain this Hende fund outfit care not about its long term performance for shareholders like me, they only want to come in, force change in their interest to make a fast profit before exiting again and leaving the remaining shareholders to pick up the pieces.

I will of course be voting against anything they suggest. If they proposed that the sky is blue I’d vote it was green.



Alliance Trust has been conservatively managed by its in-house team in Dundee for many years and has only recently begun to address its unspectacular performance. By comparison a similar trust, Foreign and Colonial, has been quite innovative with for example a significant private equity holding.

Elliott Advisers will most likely fail in their ambitions but the Alliance board should take more radical action to improve their performance.


Elliott have had their holding for 4 years according to a report I read in the FT @fernando. I’m not suggesting they’re long term but that is a commitment. And I’m sure they’ve engaged with the Board and management many time since then.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to turn a profit with your investments in my view. Hope that’s too controversial.

Like @dunkuring says F&C have changed more than once with the private equity investments and now multi assets.

It’s got such a long and interesting history but it really does need to keep evolving to stay relevant and I think its been remiss there.

I’m nure if I want Elliott to win but I think it needs a proverbial book up the jacksie.


Elliott’s recent correspondence with Alliance can be viewed here:

It would appear true that Elliott has been invested for four years and attempting to engage with Alliance on board renewal and a review of possible external investment managers to no avail, so hardly in for a quick buck!


Thanks Strolling Molby, I was more interested than I expected to read the correspondence between Elliott and Alliance. The Elliott guys really have really put some effort in to this, as I would have expected but the correspondence was pretty terse.

I have a small shareholding in Alliance and I’m minded to vote with the board event hough they do piss me off, It’s just that I trust the instincts of Elliott even less.


One thing for sure Strolling Molby is they absolutely hate each other. I think Alliance Trust have sat on their laurels for too long but I’m with Mayfair, I might not trust Alliance Trust but I trust Elliott less.


I love a good fight and this is the third I’ve witnessed with Alliance Trust.

I sold my holding late last year because I was fed up with the poor performance. I hope Elliott gets a lot further than Laxey did in their two attempts but even if they do fail I’m sure there ill be others for as long as Alliance Trust are failing their shareholders.

Incidentally, you need to sue the @ symbol if you want forum members you’re replying to see your posts @whiskyirnbru @mayfair @strollingmolby




ShareSoc has published its stance on the Alliance Trust proposals by Elliott: