Two CEFs See Their Boards Changed

DIRECTOR MOVES July 25-29: Shareholders of Aurora Russia and Sirius Real Estate force changes on their boards

Szymon Idzikowski 1 August, 2011 | 3:39PM
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Aberforth Geared Income (AGIT): John Richards will join the board of Aberforth Geared Income on August 12. He has also served as a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee at Aberforth Geared Capital & Income Trust (AFHI) since 2003.

Aqua Resources (H20): Jonathan Hooley has replaced Timothy Betley as a non-executive director of the company. Hooley currently serves on two other boards: F&C Commercial Property Trust (FCPT) and BlueCrest AllBlue Fund (BABS), allowing him to bring additional experience to the table. The board of Aqua Resources currently numbers only three members. The two other non-executive directors, Hasan Askari and Andrea Rossi, only joined in July 2008, making this a relatively young board.

Aurora Russia (AURR): Following the requisition of an EGM in mid-July by shareholder Timothy Slesinger, Aurora Russia has experienced some reorganization of the board. Dan Collison Koch has resigned after three years as a chairman of the board and Alexandr Dumnov will retire having served only for a year. Geoff Miller, who only joined the board in June this year, has been appointed a new chairman. These changes were proposed by Slesinger and were to be put to shareholder vote at the EGM on 24 August. Slesinger has also proposed the removal of two other independent directors, Grant Cameron and John Richard, and appointment of himself and Peregrine Moncreiff as new directors. Peregrine is a director of two funds managed by Metage Capital Limited, which holds over 7% of Aurora Russia’s shares.

JPMorgan Global Emerg Mkts Inc (JEMI): Pablo Forero has resigned as a non-executive director, having served on the board since the fund’s launch in July 2010 – a very short tenure, in our view.

Quindell Portfolio (QPP): Jason Cale has been appointed as a non-executive director of Quindell Portfolio, increasing the number of board members to six. Cale has also served as a non-executive director at Mobile Doctors Group (MDG) since 2007.

RIT Capital Partners (RCP): After four years on the board, John Elkann has decided not to stand for re-election and has resigned from the role of a non-executive director. The board remains sizable with seven non-executive and three executive directors.

Sirius Real Estate (SRE): Following activity from hedge fund manager Weiss Asset Management, who is a significant shareholder in the company, changes to the board of directors have now been announced. The company has appointed six non-executive directors: Shelagh Mason, Rolf Elgeti, Ian Clarke, Eitan Milgram, Amanda Spring and Charles Parkinson. At the same time, Dick Kingston has stepped down as chairman after more than four years and existing board member Robert Sinclair takes this role. These appointments have increased the number of board members to ten and strengthen the presence of Weiss Asset Management on the board.

Director Buying
Absolute Return Trust GBP (ABR)- Nicholas Fry
Albion VCT (AAVC)- A. Elder, R. M. Atson, P. H. Reeve & Henry Stanford,
Eastern European (EST)- Edmond Warner, Rory Landman, Neil England & Hugh Aldous
Invesco Lev High Yield (ILH)- Hugh Ward & Donald Adamson
JPMorgan Income & Growth (JIGC)- David Watts
Majedie Investments (MAJE)- Paul Gadd
Montanaro European Smaller (MTE)- Andrew Irvine, Alex Hammond-Chambers & Richard Martin
Murray Income Trust (MUT)- Patrick Gifford
North Atlantic Smaller Cos (NAS)- Christopher Mills
New India (NII)- Sarah Bates
Throgmorton Trust (THRG)- Eric Stobart, Lord Latymer & Simon Beart
Value & Income (VIN)- David Smith
Witan (WTAN)- R A Bruce

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Szymon Idzikowski

Szymon Idzikowski  is a closed-end fund analyst with Morningstar.

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