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Liontrust Asset Management seeking new chairman - report

(Sharecast News) - Liontrust Asset Management has reportedly embarked on a search for a new chairman months after it was forced to end its pursuit of rival GAM amid disquiet among shareholders. According to Sky News, Liontrust is working with headhunters to find a successor to Alastair Barbour, whose 13-year tenure on its board is expected to end in the coming months.

The search, which has been under way for some time, comes after a tumultuous year for the company, which has seen billions of pounds in outflows as well as a failed M&A strategy.

It walked away from the Swiss-based fund manager GAM last summer after the target's investors refused to back the deal, dealing a major blow to Barbour and chief executive John Ions.

Liontrust was ejected from London's FTSE 250 index after its shares halved in the last year.

In its annual report published last autumn, Liontrust said that Barbour would remain as chairman for a maximum of two more years. He has only chaired the company since September 2019, but is already "timed out" under UK corporate governance guidelines.

Last autumn, 15% of investors voted against his re-election, while earlier last year it was reported that two non-executive directors had resigned in protest at the length of his tenure on the board.

Sky said it was unclear on Thursday whether Liontrust was considering any of its existing board members as candidates to replace Barbour.

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