UK - Edinburgh Fund Managers' Iain Watt has stepped down as chief executive following continued pressure from major shareholders.
Shareholders have been exasperated at the company’s lack of strategic direction, leading to the departure of non-executive directors John Wright, Sir Angus Grossart, Donald MacDonald and Johnnie Blair.
The remaining EFM board members decided it would be “in the best interests of the company” for Watt to also leave.
The shareholder action – believed to have been led by Hermes Pensions Management, Prudential and Legal & General – is to be followed by the fund manager conducting a review of its business which could lead to the firm being being sold off.
Chief investment officer Anne Richards (pictured) and chief operating officer Rod MacRae have taken over as joint managing directors, in addition to their existing roles.
The pair are understood to have the backing of major shareholders, including Hermes, following confirmation that they will review all aspects of EFM’s business.
Despite the upheaval, Richards said that the firm is “extremely confident” that it can deliver performance for schemes in the future, who remain a “core” part of EFM’s business.
She added: “The institutional side remains an important part of our business and we will continue to look at how we can deliver better performance and better service for our clients.”
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