The chairman of collapsed boutique Ascend Asset Management, Alan Beasley, led a deserted general shareholders meeting last week in Sydney, in which only one proxy vote was lodged in person.
Ascend raised $1.2 million from investors earlier this year for its listing on the National Stock Exchange of Australia, but ceased trading at the end of October after two of its funds imploded.
The shareholder meeting, convened in an nearly empty room above Sydney’s Martin Place, was concluded within minutes as Beasley collected one proxy vote in person to resolve the re-appointment of the company auditor and approve the company’s 2008 financial report.
Beasley, the former boss of BNP Paribas Investment Management in Australia and an associate director with Bankers Trust during its heyday in the 1980s, said Ascend was undergoing a restructure.
“We are winding down the funds and are seeking a restructure of the company,” he said.
According to the latest annual report, Beasley received an annual salary of $330,000 from Ascend.
While the Escalation (formerly Seed Capital) Fund and the MPS Resources Fund, which held approximately $2 million between them, both held their ground in the first half of the year, they were beaten by the tough markets of recent months.
Earlier this year, Ascend decided that the company’s China Growth Fund, which had attracted two untiholders, “be mothballed”, Beasley said.
Directors of the company – Beasley, Peter LeMessurier and Stephen Wee – own about 40 per cent of the business, Beasley said.