New chairman for Alliance savings arm

FINANCIAL services veteran Tim Tookey has been appointed chairman of Alliance Trust Savings, a subsidiary of Dundee investment house and merger target Alliance Trust.

The move comes hard on the heels of a strategic review announced by parent plc Alliance Trust, following an informal merger proposal from rival RIT Capital Partners, the investment fund of City grandee Lord Rothschild.

The appointment of Mr Tookey, a former chief financial officer at Friends Life and group finance director at Lloyds Banking Group, is part of moves to establish Alliance Trust Savings as a standalone business, with its own management and independent board.

The appointment is not directly linked to the review of the parent plc unveiled this week, which has seen Canaccord Genuity “recently” appointed to advise on a “broad range of potential courses of action which the company might choose to take for the benefit of shareholders”. It is expected to take months to complete.

A spokesman noted Mr Tookey’s appointments has its roots in wide range of initiatives developed when by the current board was taking shape in October, following a successful campaign for change by activist investor Elliot Advisors. Those initiatives, which were broadly aimed at improving shareholder value, included the creation of independent boards for the plc’s subsidiaries.

Alliance Trust Savings is the main employer at the Dundee headquarters of the listed Alliance Trust.

Mr Tookey will work alongside non-executive directors Jonathan Anderson and Gregor Stewart, who joined the board in January.

Patrick Mills, chief executive of Alliance Trust Savings, said the recruitment of Mr Tookey, Mr Anderson and Mr Stewart underlined the strength of the organisation’s strategy.

Meanwhile, Alliance Trust and RIT Capital Partners offered no further comment yesterday on the merger approach, which came to light at the weekend. Analysts have said they see both benefits and pitfalls in a marriage between the two.

Shares in Alliance Trust closed down 1.5p or 0.29 per cent at 519.5p, while shares in RIT slipped by 14p or 0.89 per cent at 1,566p.



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