Hunter Hall’s board has expressed dismay with the manner in which founder and chief investment officer Peter Hall departed the boutique fund manager, but remains committed to its investment philosophy.
Speaking to InvestorDaily, Hunter Hall Limited (HHL) chair Kevin Eley said the “ship is slowly becoming steady”, but that the board was let down by how Mr Hall’s exodus had been managed.
“We all get along very fine with Peter, and were absolutely disappointed with his departure, and very disappointed with the way it was handled, and when I say handled - I mean handled by Peter. But we’ve been left with these cards and we now have to make sure we take control of it and manage the business,” he said.
Nevertheless, Mr Eley said he had “total faith” that Hunter Hall would continue to invest in a similar, ethical manner, including in the event Washington H. Soul Pattinson’s (WHSP) takeover bid was successful.
“The team that works with Peter will be around for some time, and are very much value investors as well. That team is much more risk averse than Peter is, and I would imagine there will be a lot more processes in place, and I really believe that the team will be more collegiate,” he said.
Commenting on the takeover bid, Mr Eley described WHSP as “a fantastic organisation”, but that HHL would be consulting with independent experts regarding the roughly 60 per cent discount for which Mr Hall was selling his stock.
“We will be talking to our independent experts to get their views, but if you just do some quick analysis on this right now, you’ve got to say that it’s worth a lot more than a dollar,” he said.
“Peter wanted a quick transaction, and he felt WHSP understood this business and understood the value in this business, and I believe Peter thinks they’ve picked it up at a bargain but he’s managed to bring them on to the register.”
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