The news comes following a call from Gresham House last month for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), in order to discuss Potter’s 18-year tenure which the firm said is “out of step with both the AIC Corporate Governance Code and Gresham House’s position on good governance”.
Now, the requisition notice has been withdrawn by Gresham House, on the basis that GHS’s AGM will be moved forward from its original 14 September date to a day “no later than the 26 July”, on which Potter will retire as chair and director of the board and not seek re-election.
If a new chair is not found before the AGM, it has been agreed that non-executive director Helen Sinclair will act as interim chair, while Gresham House representative Graham Bird – who was previously employed as a fund manager of GHS by Gresham House Asset Management – will become a non-independent non-executive director with immediate effect. Bird holds 21,451 ordinary shares in the investment trust while Gresham House, which he is representing, holds 812,913 ordinary shares in GHS.
Included in the notice of the upcoming AGM will also be a proposal that GHS will not issue shares below net asset value – which Gresham House previously called for as part of its proposed EGM in order to “maximise and protect value for all shareholders”.
Meanwhile, it has been agreed between Gresham House and GHS that Ken Lever will act as senior independent director of GHS and lead a review of GHS’s strategy.
Lever said: “Over the last six years, David Potter has provided excellent leadership of the GHS board and was instrumental in achieving the transition from Spark Ventures to GHS in 2015.
“The GHS board thanks David for the contribution he has made to GHS, positioning the company well for the future.”
At the end of last month, it was announced that Gresham House Asset Management had been served a 12-month protective notice period as the trust’s asset manager.
GHS is currently managed by investment committee chair Tony Dalwood and deputy fund manager Laurence Hulse. It was also co-managed by Richard Staveley until 26 May this year, when he stepped down from managing the trust and resigned from his post as managing director at Gresham House with immediate effect.