Scotland business

Lord Smith of Kelvin to chair Alliance Trust

Lord Smith of Kelvin Image copyright PA

Lord Smith of Kelvin has been appointed chairman of Dundee-based investment firm Alliance Trust.

He will replace Karin Forseke, who stepped down in November after the trust had faced demands for a change in governance from US-based activist investor Elliott Advisers.

The firm has been restructuring its board to become fully independent under plans announced in October.

Lord Smith is expected to take up his position on 1 February.

Gregor Stewart, who has been interim chairman since the departure of Ms Forseke, will become deputy chairman.

Lord Smith is currently chairman of the UK Green Investment Bank, Forth Ports Ltd and IMI plc.

He was previously chairman of engineering firm Weir Group and energy giant SSE, and a non-executive director of Standard Bank Group.

'Important business'

Lord Smith said: "Alliance Trust is an important business with a long and proud history in Scotland and around the world.

"I am looking forward to getting started and playing my part in delivering the changes that are necessary to return the trust to the levels of performance upon which it has earned its reputation and success."

Mr Stewart said: "We very much look forward to Robert joining us as our chairman.

"The board has been working hard on implementing the plans announced on 1 October 2015, which include creating separate boards for our savings platform and investment management subsidiaries.

"The board's focus is on investment performance, on creating natural demand for our shares and on reducing the trust's discount."

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