Bramson targets Electra with demand for boardroom seats

 

The private-equity group Electra has repelled an attack by the activist investor Ed Bramson, who wants to join the company’s board and launch a review of its strategy.

Mr Bramson, who is best-known for leading a boardroom coup at F&C Asset Management, has built a 19 per cent stake in Electra over the past few months through his Sherborne Investors vehicle but until now has remained tight-lipped about his plans.

However, Electra’s chairman, Roger Yates, yesterday revealed that he and a non-executive director, Geoffrey Cullinan, have met with Mr Bramson, who had requested that he and two other unnamed people join Electra’s board. Mr Bramson said he also wanted to lead a review of Electra’s strategy – as he did at F&C in 2010, before going on to remove key directors and eventually selling the fund manager to Canada’s Bank of Montreal in May.

Electra, which is being advised by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, said: “The board of Electra has carefully considered Mr Bramson’s request and has decided to reject it. [The board] actively keeps the company’s strategy under regular review and is of the opinion the current strategy has delivered consistently superior long-term returns for all shareholders and sees no reason to deviate from this successful strategy.”

As well as overhauling F&C, Mr Bramson built a 5 per cent stake in the private-equity giant 3i before banking a 38 per cent profit last year.

At the time, 3i’s chief executive, Simon Borrows, said the corporate raider had been a “complete mystery”. He added: “I found it hard to understand what it was all about because we’d already started our turnaround programme before Sherborne invested. It was a distraction in some ways because we’d get asked about him by our LPs [investors] but it didn’t affect our strategy.”

This time around, Mr Bramson looks likely to have his work cut out, with analysts at Liberum describing Electra’s management team as “one of the highest regarded in the sector”, having delivered a total shareholder return of 268 per cent over the past 10 years.

Max King, at one of Electra’s largest shareholders, Investec Asset Management, said: “We are wholly supportive of the board’s decision to turn down these requests. We do not believe that the directors proposed by Mr Bramson would do more than represent his own interests.

“We see no need for a ‘strategic review’ other than the ongoing strategic review of the business which it is the duty of the board to continue at every board meeting.

“Mr Bramson’s request implies some unspecified change of direction, the need for which is far from apparent. Any change is more likely to be for the worse than the better.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions