Voce Capital Management LLC, a San Francisco-based hedge fund with a 5.8% stake in Argo Group International Holdings Ltd., on Monday said it has appointed four independent candidates for election at the company's 2019 annual meeting
Moved coming before a scheduled February 27 meeting between the two companies that will now not go, sources near Argo were confirmed.
Voce also sent a long letter to Argo shareholders questioning the company's management, especially in the cost area.
"Argos business costs are not only shockingly high – they are also shockingly inappropriate," Voce says.
Extravagant perquisites, personal use of corporate properties including company-owned aircraft and housing, and "A comprehensive spending culture that misuses the company's assets to support the company's CEO's lifestyle and hobbies at the expense of shareholders" were just some of V's specific fees, for which it points your finger directly to the Argo board.
"Argos Board (" the Board ") is directly responsible for this waste of corporate assets and must be held accountable for it in its letter.
In response, the Argo Board responded in a Monday statement that" and the management welcomes revenue. from all of our shareholders and taking into account their views. "
The Argo Board's response also pointed to" Argos predicts a record of strong value creation for all shareholders … shown by their leading 1
Voce also raised the issue of lack of company involvement held by the Board and notes that independent members collectively own very little of their shareholding, which corresponds to less than 0.5% of the company's shares outstanding and Argos latest appointment of two new members in the wake of Voce revealing his venture with a February 4, 2019, filing a Form 13D with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Instead of even waiting to hear what we had to say, Argo unilaterally expanded his already inflated board to 13 members, and filled it with another two elected board members, "before the scheduled February 27 meeting, said the Voce letter.
" The Hagel Committee's appointments further illustrate its anchoring and hostility to shareholders' interests, "Voce added. ] Argo said it was "looking forward to continuing our dialogue with Voce, but is disappointed that Voce has decided to not engage us constructively. Instead, Voce has sent a letter to shareholders containing a number of misleading and incorrect statements and personally attacking the company's CEO. "
Argo also noted that the company's CEO is the largest single shareholder and the board and executive officers as a group preferably own approximately 4.9% of the company's shares outstanding."