SRI veteran Michaelis cements investment role at Alliance Trust as Garrett-Cox leaves

CEO duties “reassigned” amid management change at venerable trust

Peter Michaelis, the fund manager who joined Alliance Trust when it acquired Aviva Investors’ SRI team in a £1m deal in 2012, has had his position running the investments side of the listed trust cemented with the announcement that Katherine Garrett-Cox is stepping down as CEO at Alliance Trust Investments (ATI).

Alliance Trust PLC said Garrett-Cox would leave ATI on March 11; it follows a bruising boardroom battle with activist firm Elliott Advisors that had seen her relinquish the CEO role at the listed entity. She stepped down from the board but continued to lead the ATI fund management arm.

“The responsibilities of the Chief Executive will be reassigned,” Alliance Trust said. The investment team headed by Michaelis would continue to manage the £5bn fund portfolio.Michaelis and his team – which includes figures such as Neil Brown and Simon Clements – have been running the Trust’s equity portfolio since October 2014.

“Operational responsibilities will be passed to Ramsay Urquhart as Managing Director, ATI,” it added. Garrett-Cox, one of the most prominent women in UK fund management, joined Alliance Trust PLC as Chief Investment Officer in 2007, becoming CEO a year later.

Writing in ATI’s latest client newsletter Sustainable Future Insights, Michaelis points out that “our largest fund, the Sustainable Future Managed Fund, has beaten the average for its peer group over one, three, five, seven and 10 years.” There are nine funds in its Sustainable Future fund range and the investment approach targets companies exposed to long-term sustainable trends, such as climate change, quality of life, sustainable consumption and resilience.