Boardroom battle to replace directors

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US firm Invesco Perpetual has called for the sacking of both Donald Adamson and Richard Williamson from the board of Invesco Perpetual Enhanced Income Ltd, a £153 million investment trust that is registered in the Island.

Other locally based directors of the fund are trying to gather support from shareholders to block the move, however.

The American investment company resigned as the investment manager of the fund in April following a fee dispute.

It has since used its 16 per cent shareholding in the fund to call for a general meeting at which resolutions calling for the removal of Mr Adamson and Mr Williamson from the board will be voted upon.

Clive Spears, who is a non-executive director of the fund and a former Jersey Chamber of Commerce president, said: ‘We tried to negotiate with Invesco to reduce their fees, but rather than doing that they decided to retire as fund manager earlier this year.

‘They a have a 16 per cent shareholding in the fund and they are trying to remove the two directors who were negotiating with them on the fees.

‘They have put in place a requisition order to do this. We have no idea who the new guys are that they are trying to bring in.’

According to the requisition order [a formal demand] Invesco Perpetual want to appoint Hazel Adam and Howard Myles as replacement directors for the fund.

Mr Spears said that the Jersey directors, who have a small stake in the fund themselves, are looking for support from other shareholders to defeat Invesco’s resolutions.

‘More than 50 per cent of the shares are owned by the public and what we need to do is to persuade them to back us,’ he said.

‘This can be difficult to do because a lot of small shareholders typically receive notices about votes but do not act on them.

‘But I think around two per cent of the fund is owned by local shareholders. There are shareholders in Jersey and Guernsey. The reason I know that for sure is because Invesco’s sales people came to Jersey and Guernsey to sell the shares in the fund.

‘I know three people who owns shares and I believe that there could be dozens more in the Channel Islands. What we are trying to do now is raise the profile of this so we get more support from the small shareholders.’

The date of the general meeting is yet to be announced to shareholders.

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