Jeremy Curnock Cook has resigned as manager of International Biotechnology investment trust, followi...
Jeremy Curnock Cook has resigned as manager of International Biotechnology investment trust, following pressure from a US based arbitrageur and health problems.
In May, Millennium, a US based arbitrageur, which owns 10% of the trust's shares, urged the board to draw up plans to give shareholders an exit price close to NAV.
Millennium also called for the removal of Curnock Cook, who works for Rothschild Asset management.
It also asked for the removal of John Green-Armytage and Donald Cecil, the chairman and deputy chairman of the trust's board, alleging the board had not done enough to narrow the trust's discount.
On 22 May, the trust was trading at a discount to NAV of 28.3%.
Following Millennium's announcement on 24 May, the discount on the trust narrowed to 15.3%.
The offering of an exit could either involve winding up the trust or converting it to an open-ended structure, where unit prices directly reflect the value of underlying assets.
At the time Curnock Cook said restructuring the trust into an open-ended vehicle or buying back shares to narrow the discount would be detrimental to the portfolio as it could force the sale of holdings at an inopportune time.
For instance, it could force the sale of a stake in a company before it has concluded its research or developed a product.
Last month Millennium wrote to shareholders alleging that Curnock Cook could have benefited from his directorships of some biotech companies in which the trust has a stake.
According to Green-Armytage the board had asked Rothschild Asset Management some time ago to investigate the situation.
The board has agreed that, while options were granted to Curnock Cook as a director of companies in common with other non-executive directors under shareholder approved schemes, any financial benefit arising from these options, both in the past and in the future, are to be transferred to the trust.
Curnock Cook has also decided to stand down as head of Rothschild Bioscience unit and has resigned from the board of the trust.
He is to be replaced as manager of the trust by Chris Jenkins.
Shareholders voted on Millenium's proposals on 7 July. The US group requires 75% of shareholders to support them to approve any reconstruction.
Over the past 12 month the trust's NAV has risen by 426%.
£92bn transferred since 2015
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