Activist investor states Argo board needs new directors | Insurance Business New Zealand
“After years of underperformance and poor decision-making at Argo, we believe that shareholders have lost confidence in this board and in this management team’s ability and willingness to take the actions necessary to unlock value for shareholders.”
Those were the words of Capital Returns Master president Ronald Bobman in his letter to shareholders of Argo Group International Holdings, through which he is asking for their support as activist investor Capital Returns puts forward two board nominees.
“We believe the board needs new directors to help ensure that (i) decisions relating to the company’s strategic review are being made and (ii) the company is being run in a manner consistent with your best interests,” wrote Bobman.
He declared: “We are seeking to add two truly independent, highly qualified directors, who are committed to exploring all opportunities for value creation – including by pursuing a sale of the whole company – while serving the best interests of all shareholders in the boardroom.
“We believe that the board will benefit from the addition of independent directors, one of whom has experience as a former CEO of a successful public insurance company, and both of whom have extensive transactional and operational insurance industry experience, critically needed skill sets, and a shared objective of enhancing value for the benefit of all Argo shareholders.”
The two nominees are Bobman himself and David Michelson. In the letter, they were described as highly qualified, capable, and ready to work collaboratively with Argo board members.
“In light of the company’s poor financial and longstanding stock price underperformance under the oversight of the current board, we strongly believe that the board requires additional skills and expertise to ensure that the company is configured and operated in a manner that maximises value for shareholders,” said the Capital Returns president.
Argo’s annual general meeting of shareholders is taking place on December 15.