City investors have become embroiled in a row with “old school” US billionaire financial analyst Mario Gabelli over a London-listed investment company.
Smith & Williamson, Investec, Rathbones and C G Asset Management want the Gabelli Value Plus Trust wound up amid claims of a poor performance.
Associated Capital Group, whose executive chairman is Mr Gabelli, is the trust’s biggest investor with a 27pc stake and has voted against proposals to have the fund liquidated.
The New York-based stockpicker launched Gamco in the late Seventies and has an estimated worth of $1.6bn (£1.2bn).
Chris Clothier, fund manager at top-10 investor C G Asset Management, said it “is a subscale investment trust with a very poor performance track record”. Almost two-thirds of investors voted last month for the fund to be wound up. Mr Clothier added: “Associated Capital Group … appears to be seeking to frustrate the clear wishes of shareholders.”
James Burns, a fund manager at Smith & Williamson, said: “Shareholders have voted and we want our clients to get their cash back.”
Douglas Jamieson, president and chief executive of Associated Capital Group, said: “We are old school. For investment professionals, a deal is a deal. The independent board of A C believes, as management does, that every sophisticated investor knows what the rules of engagement are. The independent directors are proposing an appealing package to shareholders.”
Investec and Rathbones did not comment.