Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd managing director quits


Just a touch over six weeks ago things were looking very good for Robert Shand, the managing director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd (ASX: BLA).

He had just successfully raised $100 million at $11.50 per share to support new funds, investment platforms, and joint ventures, and the Blue Sky share price stood at a lofty $12.00.

Fast forward to today and the Blue Sky share price has fallen over 71% to $3.26 and Robert Shand is without a job after deciding to quit as the embattled investment company’s managing director with immediate effect.

According to a release, Mr Shand offered his resignation as he felt it was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, believing that it was a necessary move to rebuild market confidence.

Mr Shand has been heavily criticised over his handling of the Glaucus short selling report, most notably when he failed to provide a questions and answers session during his first analyst call following the allegations.

Mr Kim Morison has been named as interim managing director. He has been managing director of Blue Sky Water Partners since 2010 and appears to be a good fit for the business.

The release advises that Morison will focus on rebuilding market confidence in Blue Sky’s investment businesses, delivering returns for shareholders and fund investors, and acting on the board’s commitment to greater transparency.

In addition to Shand, Blue Sky has also announced that executive directors, Ms Elaine Stead and Mr Nicholas Dignam, will step down from the board. They will, however, both continue in their executive roles in the business.

Blue Sky has commenced a search for a permanent managing director and additional independent directors to the board.

What now?

First AMP Limited (ASX: AMP), now Blue Sky. It certainly has been a volatile week for ASX C-Suites.

While I suspect that the market will respond positively to this news, I wouldn’t be a buyer of its shares just yet. I’m not convinced that the drama is over at Blue Sky and would suggest investors give it a wide berth.

In the meantime, maybe an investment in SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK) would be a good idea given all these departures!