Aberdeen on the hunt for diversity with multi-manager trust

Three directors to step down from the all-male board

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Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth is on the hunt for a more diverse board for the £410.7m multi-manager investment trust.

In a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, the board of the closed-ended fund, which is the result of a merger of the Aberdeen UK Tracker and Blackrock Income Strategies trusts in April 2017, said the retirement of Ian Russell and Paul Yates at the end of October will pave the way for a more diverse board.

Chairman James Long is also preparing to step down in 2020.

The seven-person board is currently all men. One further director will be recruited via an executive search consultancy to take the board to an “optimal size” of five members, the filing said.

The changes follow a review of the board’s skills mix, size and diversity, taking into consideration recommendations from the Financial Reporting Council’s new corporate governance code. It also considered the Association of Investment Companies corporate governance code.

Long will oversee the refresh of the board, which is expected to be completed by the investment company’s annual general meeting in 2020.

Tom Chellnor becomes chair of the audit committee following Russell’s retirement.

The board said it was addressing diversity now having previously been consumed by the change in investment objective, policy and benchmark since the trust merger. The new investment manager has also significantly reshaped the portfolio, the board said.

Mike Brooks and Tony Foster manage the fund, which has delivered strong share price performance despite net asset value lagging the Flexible Investment sector. Over one year, shareholders have received 9.7%, while the NAV has increased 0.4%. The sector delivered 4.1% over that period.

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