GAM Holding AG asked shareholders to reject activist hedge fund investor RBR Strategic Value Ltd.'s proposals to add new members to GAM's board and to elect Kasia Robinski as chairman of the board. The annual general meeting will be held April 27.
The shareholder proposed the election of Robinski, William Raynar and Rudolf Bohli as new members of the company's board.
However, GAM Holding Chairman Johannes A. de Gier, who will retire at the shareholder meeting, told shareholders that the board recommends a vote for the proposals put forward by the board and against the proposals made by RBR. The current board proposed Hugh Scott-Barrett as chairman after de Gier's retirement.
De Gier also announced that David Jacob is standing for election as a new board member. Jacob has 30 years of experience in the asset management industry.
Earlier, RBR Capital Advisors asked de Gier to think about replacing CEO Alexander Friedman, suggesting more could have been done to cut costs and improve management than Friedman had done.
RBR is pushing the company to slash 353 back-office jobs to help cut costs by 100 million Swiss francs annually, Reuters reported April 5. RBR founder and Chief Investment Officer Bohli recently said that the size of RBR's stake in GAM is closer to 5% than 3%, according to the report.