Alliance Trust plc is a publicly traded investment and financial services company, headquartered in Dundee, Scotland. Established in 1888, the firm operates the largest investment trust in Britain. Alliance Trust is the tenth-largest company based in Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has been a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index since March 2011. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 26, 2017
The announcement released this morning quoted an incorrect total number of voting rights in the Company; it should have read '359,976,727'. All other information and figures remain unchanged. The full corrected text of the announcement is as follows: The Board of Alliance Trust PLC ("the Company") announces that on 25 April 2017 the Company purchased for cancellation 152,236 ordinary shares of 2.5p each at a price of 686.5427p per share. Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the Company is now 359,976,727. The above figure (359,976,727) may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
News Article | May 2, 2017
Notification of Transactions of Directors/Persons Discharging Managerial Responsibility and their Closely Associated Persons The following Director has purchased ordinary shares of 2.5pence each in Alliance Trust PLC as detailed below. The following notification, made in accordance with the requirements of the EU Market Abuse Regulation, gives further detail. NOTIFICATION AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF TRANSACTIONS BY PERSONS DISCHARGING MANAGERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND PERSONS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH THEM
News Article | April 24, 2017
The Board of Alliance Trust PLC ("the Company") announces that on 21 April 2017 the Company purchased for cancellation 605,548 ordinary shares of 2.5p each at a price of 674.1533p per share. Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the Company is now 360,128,963. The above figure (360,128,963) may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
News Article | April 27, 2017
Alliance Trust PLC announces the results of voting on the resolutions proposed at the Annual General Meeting, held earlier today in Dundee. A summary of the votes cast in respect of the resolutions is set out below. Each of the resolutions was passed with the required majority. In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.2, the full text of resolutions 11,12 and 13, which were special resolutions, passed by the Company at its Annual General Meeting has been submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and will shortly be available for inspection at http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM
News Article | May 5, 2017
The Board of Alliance Trust PLC ("the Company") announces that on 4 May 2017 the Company purchased for cancellation 17,000 ordinary shares of 2.5p each at a price of 688.0p per share. Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the Company is now 359,742,482. The above figure (359,742,482) may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
News Article | March 2, 2017
Further to the Company's announcement of 27 January 2017, and in accordance with the terms of the Repurchase Agreement described therein between Alliance Trust PLC and Elliott International, L.P., The Liverpool Limited Partnership and Elliott Associates L.P. (collectively "Elliott"), the Company has today repurchased for cancellation 19,095,715 Ordinary Shares in respect of which Elliott has a disclosable interest. This transaction represents the first of five buyback tranches through which the Company will repurchase all of the Ordinary Shares in respect of which Elliott has a disclosable interest. The repurchase was undertaken at a price of 689.8871p per Ordinary Share, representing a 4.75 per cent. discount to the Company's NAV per Share (cum income with debt at fair value) as at close of business on 1 March 2017.
News Article | February 28, 2017
The Board of Alliance Trust PLC (the "Company") is pleased to announce that all resolutions put forward at a General Meeting of the Company earlier today were passed. The proposal that the Company should change its investment mandate for the equity portfolio to a multi-manager approach has therefore been adopted. Arrangements for the new approach will now be finalised. It is expected that the Company's new investment manager, Willis Towers Watson[i] and the eight new underlying equity managers will have been formally appointed by early April. The Board will provide updates on this process as and when appropriate. The proposal that the Company should repurchase all Ordinary Shares in the Company in respect of which Elliott International L.P., the Liverpool Limited Partnership and Elliott Associates L.P. (collectively "Elliott", the Company's largest beneficial shareholders) has a disclosable interestii, has also been approved. In accordance with the terms of the Repurchase Agreement between the Company and Elliott, Elliott's Shares will be bought back in five tranches, in each case at a price representing a 4.75 per cent. discount to the Net Asset Value per Ordinary Share on the business day immediately preceding the relevant trade date. Authority was also received from shareholders for the Company to increase its share buyback authority by a further five per cent. The Board remains committed to its proactive approach to buying back Ordinary Shares, and going forward is prepared to do so at or around the same discount level as that of the share repurchase from Elliott so long as it is in shareholders' best interests. Commenting on the announcement, Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Alliance Trust PLC, said: "The Board is pleased to announce that all resolutions have been passed, and, in particular, is delighted by the 96% level of shareholder support for the new approach to investment management. The aim of the new approach is to achieve consistent outperformance at a competitive cost, with a progressive dividend policy. The focus of the Board and the new investment manager is to deliver on those ambitions for many generations to come." A summary of the votes cast in respect of the resolutions is set out below. In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.2, the full text of resolutions 2 and 3, which were special resolutions, passed by the Company at its General Meeting today has been submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and will shortly be available for inspection at http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM [i] Towers Watson Investment Management (Ireland) Limited to be appointed as Alternative Investment Fund Manager ii Elliot has direct control over 52,881,891 ordinary shares and indirect control through contracts for difference of 42,596,685 ordinary shares (which the Company has offered to acquire on the same terms). The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
News Article | October 29, 2016
Are you happy with 5% of every penny you save going into selling cigarettes? New research reveals how small investors in Britain are pouring their money into tobacco companies and giant oil and coal companies that are wrecking the environment without realising. The report, released ahead of Good Money Week by ethical investment group Castlefield Advisory Partners, highlights how UK tracker funds are massively invested in tobacco and fossil fuel companies. Tracker funds have become hugely popular in recent years because they are very cheap, often charging less than 0.5% a year compared to “actively managed” funds charging double or triple that. The UK’s biggest tracker fund, the £5bn Vanguard FTSE UK All Share, has more than £200m worth of shares in British American Tobacco. Last year BAT sold 663bn cigarettes in more than 200 markets around the world, under brands such as Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Rothmans. According to Castlefield, the six biggest tracker funds aimed at small investors have a combined £504m invested in BAT. Such is its size – it is now Britain’s fourth biggest company (and larger than BT, Vodafone and Lloyds). That means anyone investing in a FTSE All Share tracker will have 4% of their money in BAT, or 5% via a FTSE 100 index tracker. Campaigners argue that with few restrictions on how companies advertise in places like Indonesia, cigarette manufacturers are making huge profits from damaging the health of young people in the developing world. Tobacco kills six million people every year and nearly 80% of the world’s billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organisation. Some savers in cheap tracker or “passive” funds – British investors have ploughed nearly £17bn into them in recent years – may also be unaware just how much of their cash goes to support fossil fuel extraction. The Vanguard fund has 11% of its £5bn of investments in oil and gas companies, largely through holdings in Shell and BP. John Ditchfield, partner at Castlefield, said: “Trackers might appear to be a cheap investment solution, but we are concerned that people may not be fully aware that they are financing damaging social and environmental activities and putting investors’ money at risk. “Automated ‘robo-investors’ are pumping hundreds of millions in pension savings and other investments into businesses which individuals would not choose to support, and may actively want to avoid, for example tobacco and heavily polluting fossil fuel companies. “More than 70 countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and it is about to come into force, but a large chunk of tracker capital is invested in coal, oil and gas, exposing investors to serious risk.” Unlike actively managed funds, where investment managers can use their power to implement change, tracker funds do not hold companies accountable for their business strategy or social and environmental performance. But it’s not just ethically minded investors who are concerned about the huge investments in fossil fuels. Even the least environmentally conscious are concerned that the assets of oil and gas companies will be “stranded” underground, forbidden from being removed as climate change worsens. That would render these investments worthless. Ditchfield warns that while undeniably cheap, tracker funds also come with other problems. Investors were left with large losses during the “dot.com boom” of 1999/2000, as tracker funds automatically bought company shares at the point where they entered the index, irrespective of the company’s underlying business model or level of profitability. He argues that returns on actively managed socially responsible investment funds have outperformed most UK tracker funds over the last five years. For example, the WHEB Sustainability fund is up 31% over the past year, compared to the 16.7% gain in the Vanguard FTSE All Share tracker. Ditchfield also likes the Alliance Trust Sustainable Future fund, which, although only up 13% this year, has given investors a return of 30% over three years compared to 20% from the major index funds. For every £10,000 invested with Vanguard, £1,440 would be in Shell, BP and BAT, “financing a range of damaging social and environmental activities,” says Ditchfield. “£10,000 in WHEB would be managed by a team of experts who publish detailed information of the case for making investments and track the social and environmental impact.” Many pension schemes use trackers as their default investment, although some allow employees to choose an actively managed ethical fund’ instead. But finding a low-cost tracker is tough. Vanguard offers socially responsible investment funds, but Ditchfield argues they fail to screen out fossil fuels. For example, the Vanguard SRI Global Stock fund is 5%invested in oil and gas. The majority of investors want their money to make a positive change to society and the environment but many have never been offered the chance to put there money in funds which do just that, according to ethical Triodos Bank, writes Patrick Collinson. Research found that 62% expressed this view, but 51% said they had never been offered a socially responsible investment fund. The findings challenge the perception that ethical funds don’t give returns that are comparable to the mainstream. Nearly half of those who took part in the survey said they see sustainable and ethical funds as a “smart investment” and more likely to succeed in the long term. Indeed, over the past three and five years the FTSE All World (ex-fossil fuel) index has outperformed the FTSE All World index. Huw Davies of Triodos Bank UK says: “Our research reveals that a majority of investors want sustainable and ethical investment options, and the industry must respond to this demand.” Caroline Bird, 52, an academic in Bristol, has been a keen investor in the Triodos Pioneer fund, which buys shares in companies engaged in sustainable energy, medical technology and a cleaner planet. “I was keen to be doing positive good for the future,” says Bird. “I want to invest positively to support a healthy sustainable planet and I don’t want to support businesses that put profit over everything else and trash the environment or treat communities badly.”
News Article | February 20, 2017
As announced in May 2016, the Board of Alliance Trust undertook a Strategic Review of the Trust to determine its future direction. The Board worked alongside a number of advisers, principally Canaccord Genuity Limited, as Corporate Broker and Financial Adviser, and Dickson Minto, as legal adviser. It also consulted with a range of shareholders throughout the process. On 15th December 2016 the Board announced it had concluded this Strategic Review and set out proposals for a new approach to managing the Trust's equity portfolio. The aim of the new approach is to increase the likelihood of consistently delivering the performance target and to build on the Trust's 49 year track record of increasing dividends. The Board is proposing that it will appoint Willis Towers Watson (WTW), a leading investment group, to manage the overall equity portfolio, working with eight1 equity managers, each of whom is rated best-in-class2. Each equity manager will typically select 20 stocks3, which will make up the combined portfolio of the Trust. This "best of the best" approach is subject to shareholder approval at a General Meeting on 28th February 2017. In advance of that meeting, the Board of Alliance Trust has received questions from the press and shareholders about the role undertaken by WTW during the Company's Strategic Review. The Board has responded to these questions and is happy to share its response more widely. WTW's participation in the Review was limited to a clearly defined role as an investment consultant. This was to assist the Board, alongside its other advisers, in a review of the Company's investment arrangements, the other options available to the Company and in the evaluation of potential investment managers. Such potential investment managers included all those who put forward proposals to the Trust together with other managers, drawing from WTW's global research views. WTW's involvement ceased once this phase was completed. Thereafter, and following further shareholder consultation, the Board, supported by Canaccord Genuity Limited, undertook its own analysis of the various potential courses of action to select the investment management structure and approach that would best serve shareholders. Following the Board's decision to give more detailed consideration to the management of its equity portfolio via a multi-manager model, the Board ran a competitive process to identify a preferred manager of such a model. WTW was subsequently selected to become the investment manager, as announced on 15th December 2016. The Board and its advisers believe that any potential conflict of interest for WTW was appropriately managed and that there is no conflict of interest in WTW's proposed appointment by the Board as investment manager to the Company. The Board considers the approval of each of the Resolutions set out in the notice of the General Meeting, including the adoption of a multi-manager approach to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole. The Board recommends that shareholders vote in favour of all resolutions at the General Meeting. 1 Initial number of managers selected 2 As rated by Willis Towers Watson 3 One of the managers will also manage an emerging markets portfolio of around 50 stocks
News Article | March 2, 2017
Alliance Trust PLC announces the declaration of a fourth interim dividend for the year ending 31 December 2016 of 3.274 pence per share payable on 31 March 2017 to shareholders on the register on 10 March 2017. The ex-dividend date is 9 March 2017. Total dividends paid or declared for the year ending 31 December 2016 represents an increase of 16.4% over the ordinary dividend paid for financial year ending 31 December 2015.