The market does not appear too concerned about the exit of F&C Asset Management (FCAM) chairman Edward Bramson following his restructuring of the group in the past three years, with the counter up 1.7% to 105p.
Bramson’s exit, which is likely to precursor a full exit by his activist investment group Sherborne Investors, should be viewed in the light of him leaving the £588 million cap in a much better shape. Chief executive officer Richard Wilson, who took control on 1 January, is now best placed to push through the required operational changes to finesse Bramson’s plan.
Wilson’s focus will be on the company’s retail funds business, investment trusts and third-party institutional operations. The former two are tipped to do well in a post Retail Distribution Review world as investors take greater control of their individual portfolios.
Bramson’s cost cutting has left a business in much leaner shape and able to cope with the loss of legacy insurance funds. The contract to run the last of these monies, with Friends Life, expires in October 2014.
While the exit of Sherborne does create the potential for a stock overhang there have been plenty of buyers for Bramson’s restructuring stories in the past, including telecommunications equipment specialist Spirent Communications (SPT).
Read our story from July on how Bramson has been a prolific buyer of F&C stock.