London (ots/PRNewswire) - Re: Proposal for Election of Directors at the AGM of Altin AG on 22nd April, 2013.
We would like to introduce Metage Capital Limited as an investment manager managing various client funds which are shareholders in Altin (the "Company"). As shareholders will be aware, Altin is a listed closed-ended fund investing in hedge funds and managed by Alternative Asset Advisors SA, which is a part of the Syz & Co Group.
Metage Capital was responsible for the inclusion on the AGM Agenda of the proposal to elect Jerome Muller and Jean-Michel Clerc as members of the Board. Our proposal appears under Item 6 of the agenda without explanation, and we felt it appropriate to put forward to shareholders our reasons for this request.
Funds under our management have been shareholders in the Company for several years and over this period we have become frustrated by the discount to net asset value at which the shares of the Company persistently trade. For reference, according to Bloomberg, the Company's share price has averaged a 30.1% discount to its net asset value over the last 12 months. This is the widest discount exhibited by any major listed closed-end fund of hedge funds of which we are aware.
Discounts are a commonplace problem in the closed-end fund world and certainly not unique to Altin but there are many well-tested means of addressing them. We have been disappointed by the lack of success experienced by the existing Board of directors in bringing the price to better reflect the fair value of the underlying assets. Indeed, the subject of the discount merited only a single sentence in the recently-released Annual Report, pointing out that it had averaged 29% during 2012. This is in contrast to the many statements in previous years drawing attention to the Board's "strong commitment" to ensuring that the share price remains in line with the NAV.
As a result of the above, we believe that the Company would benefit from a strengthening of its Board through the inclusion of the two candidates we have put forward for election at the forthcoming AGM. Jerome Muller has experience as a manager of a portfolio of hedge funds and as a director of both open and closed-ended alternative investment vehicles. Jean-Michel Clerc is a specialist Swiss tax lawyer with extensive experience as a consultant to and director of various multinational companies. As such, we believe that each of these individuals would bring highly relevant experience to the Board of the Company and hope that you will join us in supporting them.
A brief biography of each is attached. Copies of their full curricula vitae are available on request.
We note in passing that the Company proposes the election to the Board of an alternative candidate, a Mr Roger Ruegg. We are unable to venture any view on Mr Ruegg as no information about him has been provided to shareholders.
Metage Capital Limited
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Mr. Müller founded J. Müller Capital in 2011 and serves as an independent management and investment consultant based in Lausanne specialising in the strategic planning of clients' businesses and analysis and due diligence of investment opportunities.
Prior to this Mr. Müller was a partner, head of research and co-CIO at Partners Advisers S.A., a Geneva-based Asset management company specialised in alternative investments, where he was in charge of hedge fund analysis, selection and portfolio management. From September 1997 until March 1999, he was with Union Bancaire Privée in Geneva as an internal auditor.
Mr. Müller holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and is a CFA charterholder.
Mr. Müller is a member of the board of directors and a member of the pricing committee of Metage Funds Limited. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Rockhampton Fund.
Jean-Michel Clerc is a founder and partner of Lexartis Avocats in Lausanne. He is an experienced lawyer who has specialized in national and international tax with an emphasis on tax planning for corporations and individuals.
Prior to establishing Lexartis Avocats, Mr. Clerc was co-CEO of Development Economic Western Switzerland (DEWS) where he was instrumental in establishing 25 Principal companies in the Lake Geneva region.
Other previous positions include Partner at KPMG in 2001 before which he was Head of the Tax Department at their Lausanne and Neuchâtel offices. He also worked as an Associate with the law firms Baker & McKenzie (Etienne & Associés) and Pirenne Python Schifferli Peter & Associés, Geneva. In 1995 he was made Deputy to the Head of the State Tax Administration by the Vaud State Council.
Mr. Clerc graduated from the University of Fribourg in Law and is a Member of the Board of Directors of various group companies of:
- Groupe Reed Elsevier
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