Alliance Trust

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Alliance Trust PLC
Traded asLSEATST
FTSE 250 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1888; 131 years ago (1888)
HeadquartersDundee, Scotland, UK
Key people
Lord Smith (Chairman)
ProductsInvestment Trust
Revenue£55.1 million (2018)[1]
£45.3million (2018)[1]
£41.4 million (2018)[1]
Previous logo

Alliance Trust PLC is a publicly traded investment and financial services company, established in 1888 and headquartered in Dundee, Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. It is one of the largest investment trusts in the UK.[2]


The Alliance Trust PLC was formed by the 1888 merger of three Dundee-based mortgage and land companies: the Dundee Investment Company, the Dundee Mortgage and Trust Investment Company and the Oregon and Washington Trust (which was set up to provide loans to immigrant farmers on the West Coast of the United States).[3] Many prominent figures in Dundee invested some of their money in the Alliance Trust and its predecessors, including merchants, ship owners, textile manufacturers and businessman such as Sir John Leng.[4] The company subsequently expanded into other asset classes. In 1918 the firm agreed to share premises and other costs with the Western & Hawaiian Investment Company,[5] a mortgage lender which initially focused its business on sugar planters in Hawaii before expanding.[3] Five years later it was renamed The Second Alliance Trust, although no formal merger between the two took place until 2006.[5][6]

The Trusts later moved into fixed income investing in the 1920s and 30s, before adding significant quantities of shares to their portfolios in the late 1950s.[7] A savings division was established by Alliance Trust in 1986, offering pensions and other investment products.[8] A formal merger with The Second Alliance Trust was finally conducted in 2006, as the investment strategies of the two companies had come to closely resemble each other.[9]

The company left its headquarters of over 90 years, Meadow House in Dundee's Reform Street on 1 June 2009 for a purpose-built facility on 8 West Marketgait in Dundee City Centre.[10][6]

Alliance Trust offices at 8 West Marketgait, Dundee

In 2011, it was reported that University of Dundee Archive Services had become custodians of the Alliance Trust's extensive archives.[4][11]

Following criticism by Elliott Advisors, an activist shareholder, Katherine Garrett-Cox stood down as Chief Executive and left the company in March 2016.[12]

In December 2016, the board announced that the Trust would replace its in-house investment team with a multi-manager approach in a bid to improve performance. In January 2017, the Trust appointed Willis Towers Watson (WTW) as investment manager.[13] In September 2017, the Trust appointed Ron Baxter as its new chairman.[14]

Former operations[edit]

Until October 2018, Alliance Trust was the parent company of Alliance Trust Savings Limited, an execution-only trading platform. The business was sold to Interactive Investor for £40m; the sale included the office building at West Marketgait, Dundee.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Alliance Trust. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Analyse Investment Companies. The Association of Investment Companies. Retrieved 1 June 2017".
  3. ^ a b "About us: History 1873–1888". Alliance Trust. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b Baxter, Kenneth (March – April 2011). "The Alliance Trust: Dundee and the Wild West" (PDF). Broadsheet- The SCA Newsletter (1): 6. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b "About us: History 1918–1966". Alliance Trust. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b "MS 335 Alliance Trust Archive". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  7. ^ Bolger, Andrew (6 February 2005). "On the way up in the oldest lift in the land". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  8. ^ "About us: History 1969–1998". Alliance Trust. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  9. ^ Farrow, Paul (29 March 2006). "Alliance puts its trust in £2.8 billion merger". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  10. ^ Robbins, Bruce (9 January 2007). "Alliance Trust makes city hub of expansion". The Courier (Dundee). Archived from the original on 4 August 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  11. ^ "Business Archives". Archives, Records and Artefacts at the University of Dundee. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Katherine Garrett-Cox to leave Alliance Trust". BBC. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  13. ^ Brearley, Beth (16 January 2017). "Alliance Trust names Willis Towers Watson investment manager". Fund Strategy. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  14. ^ McCulloch, Scott (26 September 2017). "Alliance Trust Savings appoints Ron Baxter as chairman". businessInsider. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  15. ^ Ellis, Tom (22 October 2018). "Alliance Trust Savings sold to Interactive Investor for £40m". Investment Week. Retrieved 1 February 2019.

External links[edit]