Michael Hart quits F&C trust

MICHAEL HART, the former head of the investment trust trade body who has become embroiled in controversy in recent months, resigned from another City post yesterday.

The former director-general of the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC) has quit as a director of the Foreign & Colonial Emerging Markets Investment Trust.

Last year, Mr Hart, formerly a manager of Foreign & Colonial's flagship investment trust, became embroiled in a corporate governance row with Hermes Investment Management. Hermes said that boards of investment trust companies should become more independent of their fund managers. In particular, Hermes said the practice of allowing employees of fund managers to also sit on the board of an investment trust and judge fund managers' performance could lead to a conflict of interest.

Hermes, together with City fund managers, used its 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 working for Foreign & Colonial, the fund manager.

Foreign & Colonial later barred employees from sitting on the board of any investment trust whose funds it managed.

Foreign & Colonial Emerging Markets said Mr Hart had left to pursue other interests.

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