Troubled fund manager Magellan is offering clients $30 Amazon vouchers for feedback on how to improve its online services after clients have pulled billions of dollars from the manager amid ongoing leadership uncertainty.
An email titled ‘We Need Your Help!’ sent to clients and seen by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald asks investors, advisers and shareholders to complete a 10-minute survey about the company’s website relaunch.
“Magellan’s primary focus has always been, and remains, on our clients. We take pride in our client services and our communications,” the email states.
Interim Magellan chief Kirsten Morton.Credit:AFR
“We regularly ask our clients for feedback as we value your opinions. Our website rebuild is no different… Be one of the first 200 people to complete the survey and receive a $30 Amazon voucher.”
Magellan said it would use the feedback to “tailor content to each user, ensuring that you can swiftly access exactly what you’re looking for, in a way that’s easy for you, and improving the overall experience”.
The email was sent to clients on Tuesday, as the ASX-listed company’s share price fell by another 3.31 per cent to close at $16.07 per share.
The Sydney-based fund manager has had a difficult past four months, with its share price falling by more than 15 per cent since the start of the year as clients terminate investment mandates or rip cash from the funds.
Magellan’s total funds under management as of March 31 was $70 billion, which had somewhat stabilised after falling from $116 billion in late November.
The fund manager’s troubles started with the unexplained resignation of chief executive Brett Cairns, which spooked investors as there was no immediate replacement. Interim chief executive Kirsten Morton remains in the role, but a permanent position is yet to be announced.
Cairns’ resignation was followed by mounting pressure over under-performance at Magellan’s flagship global equities fund and personal problems for star founder and chief investment officer Hamish Douglass, which later saw him stand down for medical leave.
Magellan has announced Douglass will not return to the company’s board as the new leadership team under chair Hamish McLennan seeks to lift the governance of the organisation by separating investment and oversight roles.
The leadership uncertainty and underperformance caused Magellan to lose its largest investment mandate with UK-based St James’s Place which was worth about $23 billion. Magellan co-founder Chris Mackay travelled to Europe in March to meet with institutional clients this month to answer questions about the business and ease investor concerns.
In the process, some investors have dumped Magellan stocks, while others have made millions short selling the company. Analysts have said the recent reduction in fund outflows does not necessarily mean the worst is over, and have stressed the need for performance to turn around.
Magellan has sought to retain staff through the difficult period by offering a number of financial incentives to those that stay.
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