This morning (7/12/2017) the Daily Telegraph’s Questor column ran a puff on the Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH), a company which incidentally I do hold. It made such comments as “this trust has returned 16 per cent a year for 22 years, and it should keep on roaring”.
The Trust fund is managed by Orbimed Capital LLC, and perhaps the unfortunate aspect of the above is the failure to mention the announcement by the Trust yesterday over serious allegations of sexual harassment against Orbimed’s Managing Partner and founder Samuel Isaly. I won’t repeat them here but you can find them on the internet quite easily.
Samuel Isaly is also a director of Worldwide Healthcare Trust. I am never very keen for fund managers to sit on the boards of investment trusts and regularly vote against this practice. Boards need to be independent of the fund managers, even if we recognise that the fund managers often have a significant influence over the affairs of such companies. Non-executive directors of investment trusts should all be “independent” which they cannot be if they are employed by the fund manager.
The Trust advises that Orbimed has retained an independent law firm to investigate the matter, but surely this is an appropriate time to consider the composition of the board.
Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )
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One thought on “Worldwide Healthcare Trust – Telegraph Omits Latest News”
This announcement has been made by WWH:
Portfolio management arrangements and Board composition
The Board of Worldwide Healthcare Trust PLC (‘the Company’) has been advised by the partners of OrbiMed Capital LLC (‘OrbiMed’), the Company’s portfolio manager, that Mr Samuel D. Isaly is to step down from OrbiMed Capital LLC.
Accordingly, the Company announces that in consequence Mr. Isaly will be retiring from the Board of the Company, and also from his portfolio management responsibilities. Ongoing management responsibility for the Company’s portfolio will otherwise remain unchanged, led by Mr. Sven Borho CFA (Managing Partner of OrbiMed) and Dr.Trevor Polischuk Ph.D. working with the rest of the OrbiMed team which, together with Mr Isaly, has been responsible for managing the Company’s investment portfolio over the last 22 years.