When tanks arrive on the lawn

The desperate efforts of Alliance Trust to see off an activist investor’s campaign to put three new non-executive directors on the board will come to a head on Wednesday.

The investment funds manager’s chairwoman Karin Forseke and chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox have accused the New York hedge fund Elliott Advisors of trying to make a quick buck, but the odds are not in the women’s favour.

According to research by the headhunter Russell Reynolds — which is, coincidentally, looking on behalf of the Alliance Trust board for one new non-executive — three-quarters of the demands made by activists globally last year were at least partly successful.

Read more in The Sunday Times

Time to find life in the slow lane

John Kerr spent a decade running the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s operations in London as its deputy general manager. “I was responsible for banking operations, retail banking, compliance and anti-money-laundering controls . . . and I was a member of all executive decision-making committees,” he said.

Last year, he decided that at 66 it was time to have a bit more time for himself, so he resigned — only for his employer to suggest he design a part-time job that would lighten his load but allow the bank to retain his experience.

Find out how the new arrangements worked in The Sunday Times.

Freelance journalist and writer