Alliance Trust chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox emerged from a brutal battle with activist shareholder Elliott Partners in April with a year to turn the company around. She’s not got off to a good start.
The 127-year-old investment trust delivered a 2.7% total shareholder return in the first half of the year, 25th out of a 36-strong global peer group. On a net asset value basis, that figure was 1.4%, placing it an even more dismal 29th.
Garrett-Cox admitted the results were ‘disappointing’, surely an understatement, given her tenuous position. But she argued a hike in bond yields in June was to blame for much of the ‘underperformance’. The trust was now concentrating on shares, she said, adding the FTSE 250 company’s equity portfolio had outperformed the benchmark MSCI All Country World Index since September 2014.