Money managers under the microscope
UK fund firm F&C has received a slap on the wrist from its largest shareholders over plans to acquire an Austrian fund manager.
Investors want F&C to cement its recent turnaround in investment performance which resulted in net inflows at the start of 2010, rather than have the distraction of an acquisition. The company today said it was ditching plans to acquire Vienna-based quant specialist C-Quadrat just three days after submitting offer documents.
Shareholders in F&C can hardly be blamed for demanding the company focus on improving share value – F&C shares are only a few pence over their 52-week lows, at about 60 pence — but the move underlines the growing impatience among institutional investors with company boards over issues such as strategy and pay.
Shareholders are now no longer content with just toeing the company line and are certainly not afraid to let companies know exactly what they think. The investors would tell you they were doing this all the time anyway, but directors certainly seem more attuned to the tutting.