January 27, 2020 / 1:55 PM / a month ago

Shareholder Krupa urges GAM to form panel to attract strategic investor

ZURICH, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Prague-based Krupa Global Investments (KGI) urged GAM Holding on Monday to create a shareholder committee that would explore attracting a strategic investor for the embattled Swiss asset manager.

Krupa, which says it controls around 3% of GAM via direct stock holdings and derivatives, said it would propose a candidate for GAM’s board of directors at the 2020 annual meeting should GAM not present a convincing strategy update.

“We bought more shares of GAM recently because we have faith in future (prospects) of this business and its importance but we are not satisfied with management’s silence and communication towards investors,” KGI Chairman Pavol Krupa said.

In a statement, he said GAM’s forecast for a small underlying profit before tax in 2019 was unsatisfying and called for management to make a clear declaration of GAM’s future path.

GAM Holding, which has a market capitalisation of around 450 million Swiss francs ($465 million), said last week it expected to break even for 2019 as performance fees improved, although it saw a sharp outflow of assets in the aftermath of a row with its former star fund manager.

“GAM conducts an active and regular exchange with our shareholders but we cannot comment on individual shareholders in this context,” it said on Monday, adding it would give a strategy update alongside its annual results on Feb. 20.

GAM has said in the past it would look at all options to maximise shareholder value.

$1 = 0.9675 Swiss francs Reporting by Oliver Hirt, Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter

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