Head of investment trust trade body makes early exit

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL Hart, the head of the investment trust trade body which has been mired in controversy in recent months, suddenly resigned yesterday after less than three months in the job.

Mr Hart resigned as director-general of the AITC, whose members manage pounds 62bn of investors' funds, after telling colleagues he had become ill and found the job much more demanding than expected. No replacement has been found.

He had opposed intense pressure from shareholders such as Hermes Investment Management, the corporate governance hawks, for the boards of investment trust companies to be seen to be more independent of their fund managers.

Hermes, together with City of London fund managers, used their shareholdings to oust the entire board of the Brazilian Smaller Companies Investment Trust at the end of January. Mr Hart had been chairman of the trust at the same time as being chairman of the fund manager, Foreign & Colonial.