The managing director of embattled Australian asset manager Blue Sky Alternative Investments has resigned amid a boardroom shake-up.
Robert Shand, who has been robustly defending Blue Sky to investors since a short-selling attack by US hedge fund Glaucus began on March 29, stepped down today.
Kim Morison, managing director of Blue Sky Water Partners and head of Blue Sky’s real assets business since 2010, has been appointed as interim managing director of Blue Sky in Shand’s place.
Two other executive directors, namely Elaine Stead, head of venture capital, and Nicholas Dignam, head of growth capital, have also stepped down from the board, but will continue in their executive roles with the business.
Despite the news, Blue Sky’s share price continued to fall today, dropping almost 10 percent to A$3.13. Shares stood at A$11.40 before the publication of Glaucus’s critical report in March.
That report accused Blue Sky of misleading investors and claimed that the asset manager was overvaluing its investments – claims Blue Sky has repeatedly denied.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange today, Morison said his focus would be on rebuilding market confidence in Blue Sky and acting on the board’s commitment to greater transparency, in response to one of Glaucus’s main criticisms of the firm.
He said: “Blue Sky’s business fundamentals are strong. We have learnt, and we are continuing to learn, from our recent experiences and we are building for the future. We have a great platform, great people and continuing support among our funds investors and institutional clients.
“I’m committed to ensuring Blue Sky strengthens its governance and transparency to our shareholders and investors in order to restore and build confidence among all of our stakeholders.”
Alongside Morison, Blue Sky’s board now comprises chairman John Kain, executive directors Tim Wilson and Alex McNab, and independent directors Michael Gordon and Phil Hennessy.