UK - Bedlam Asset Management has rapped its peers for claiming undue credit over a dramatic U-turn by TV giant Carlton.
The “no gain, no fee” manager says only Fidelity Investments’ fund manager Anthony Bolton deserved recognition for spearheading the shareholder action that prompted a rethink over who should chair Carlton following its merger with Granada.
Carlton’s Michael Green had been the board’s choice but investor pressure for an independent, non-executive chairman, forced a dramatic U-turn.
Bedlam founder Jonathan Compton praised Bolton for going public with his concerns after making “discreet complaints” to the board.
But Compton accused other managers of hesitancy.
Compton said that Carlton – like many other firms – had forgotten the first rule of capitalism: shareholders own the business.
He added: “The employee-managers and directors held less than 5% of Carlton between them but were acting as if they were owners. The cowboys had taken over the ranch.
“Now they have been reminded they are just hired hands.”
But he stressed that some of the large fund managers that took the limelight as “good corporate governors” had actually been “rotten investors” in the preceding years.
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