(Reuters) - Credit card and loyalty programs firm Alliance Data Systems Corp (ADS.N) said a board member representing ValueAct Capital has stepped down, removing one conflict of interest which could have prevented it gaining a board seat at Citigroup Inc (C.N).
Alliance, which competes with Citi in issuing credit cards for retailers, said in a regulatory filing filed late on Thursday that Kelly Barlow, a partner at ValueAct, had stepped down from its board. (bit.ly/31LDkr5)
The San Francisco-based hedge fund, one of the industry’s most closely-watched activist investors, unveiled a $1.2 billion stake in Citi in May last year which made it one of the top 10 shareholders of the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets.
In January this year, Citi agreed to give ValueAct more access to its books and board of directors, deepening their relationship.
The agreement gave ValueAct rights that essentially come with having a board seat, but the fund and the bank said that they only expected ValueAct to propose a candidate for the board when some potential conflicts of interest had been eliminated.
(The story corrects date of revealing stake to May of last year, not 2019, in third paragraph.)
Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham