Crystal Amber could move to replace the board with a single appointee to drive through divestments, having already forced the resignation of former CEO Jill Smith.

The board of directors at US-based commercialisation firm Allied Minds has come under siege from activist investor, Crystal Amber, which is mulling calling for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in a bid to replace them, Bloomberg reported yesterday.
Crystal Amber reportedly owns around 4.8% equity in Allied Minds but would require 5% in order to demand an EGM.
The development comes after the board refused to discuss Allied Minds’ business strategy, Bloomberg said, with Crystal Amber determined to push through further curtailments to the firm’s expenditure.
Crystal Amber was successful in forcing the resignation of former Allied Minds’ president and CEO Jill Smith earlier this week.
She has been replaced at the helm by co-CEOs Michael Turner and Joseph Pignato, however Crystal Amber wants board changes in the event it is unable to deal with the new leadership, after its call with Turner and Pignato was cancelled yesterday.
Richard Bernstein, director and a principal shareholder of Crystal Amber’s fund, told Bloomberg he wanted to replace Allied Minds’ directors with a single executive with strong credentials in asset realisation and return of capital.
The appointee would then be expected to take a firm grip of Allied Minds’ portfolio, driving through divestments as the firm pursues a more restrictive strategy, having suspended all investments in new companies.
Crystal Amber is also unhappy with the firm’s previous approach to executive compensation, which it claims rewarded good performance without penalty for poor decisions.
Allied Minds’ long-term incentive program and some of its pending executive awards have been scrapped on Turner and Pignato’s watch, but it is unclear whether this will be enough to pacify Crystal Amber’s criticism.