Swiss fintech Temenos is under fire from activist shareholders calling for the removal of its senior management.
Petrus Advisers, the UK-based asset manager, has written to the enterprise software company’s board of non-executive directors to demand the resignation of its chief executive and chairman.
The letter, the contents of which were first reported by Bloomberg, also calls on the board to begin a strategic review of the company and to consider a potential sale.
In an extraordinary attack, Petrus states that the current CEO Max Chuard is “far out of his depth in a CEO role and should be terminated with immediate effect”.
Chairman Andreas Andreades was also told he should resign. “His role as de facto decision-maker makes it hard for Temenos to attract and retain world-class management talent”, wrote Petrus.
The trouble for Temenos was sparked by a recent Q3 profit warning and abandonment of the firm’s guidance. The company’s share price has also halved since the beginning of the year and has dropped by 72% since its peak in March 2019.
The profit warning was seemingly the last straw for Petrus. “This uninspired and delusional approach of hoping for ‘something’ later, triggered our decision to write to you.”
Petrus holds just a 3% share in the company, however its call for the dismissal of the CEO and chairman has been backed by another minority shareholder, Helvetic Trust.
The Swiss asset manager only acquired its 1% stake some weeks ago but is already looking to increase its holding so it can exert more pressure on Temenos.
Temenos, which acquired fund admin platform Multifonds in 2015 for €235 million, has issued a statement saying that there is an annual strategic review already underway and it will provide an update in due course.
As of yet, no statement has been issued by Temenos’s largest investor, Swiss billionaire Martin Ebner.
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