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R&Q Slams Phoenix’s Pronouncement

For anyone following the lasting dispute among shareholders of R&Q Insurance Holdings, the company’s September 13 special general meeting (SGM) can’t seem to come soon enough. Different camps, in the meantime, have been handing out their respective statements on the matter, with R&Q the latest to respond following last week’s damning letter by Phoenix Asset Management Partners.

As reported by Insurance Business, Phoenix co-founder and chief investment officer Gary Channon composed a 2,400-word letter to fellow R&Q shareholders to explain where the fund management company is coming from about the SGM and the recommendations that will be voted on.

“I have attempted to share with you the background to what has been going on so that you can comprehend our motivations,” said Channon at the time. “It’s a failure of governance that has led us to this point, but now at least all shareholders have an opportunity to do something to save the company they own.”

Representing 46 million normal shares in the non-life security group, Phoenix is calling for the removal of executive chair William Spiegel as an R&Q director over alleged competence, alignment, and integrity issues. Channon detailed the supposed weaknesses in his letter.

Now R&Q’s board is contending that Phoenix had presented an inaccurate pronouncement.

“The board of R&Q notes the announcements, including a significant number of factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations, made by Phoenix,” declared R&Q in a new London Stock Exchange filing, without elaborating on what was allegedly misled.

R&Q, meanwhile, took the opportunity to illustrate how much authorization it has in respect of the matter.

“The board reiterates its unanimous support for William, its admiration for him, and confidence in the strategy he and his management team are executing,” asserted R&Q, which is holding the SGM in London in less than two weeks.

“The board also wishes to highlight the strength of public support against Phoenix’s recommendations, with shareholders representing approximately 40% of R&Q’s voting rights stating their public support for William and their intentions to vote against the resolutions proposed by Phoenix. In addition, the board has also received a significant amount of private support against the Phoenix resolutions.”

Shareholders of R&Q encompass the likes of Brickell PC Insurance Holdings, Slater Investments, and Vida Capital.

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