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Alliance Trust is looking to put a challenging period behind it.

In 2016, the Scottish investment group, saw off an unsolicited takeover approach and fought a protracted battle with activist investor Elliott that cost it the CEO. It bought out Elliott early this year.

A strategic overhaul earlier this year let it to outsource management of its £3.3bn portfolio to eight fund managers, with Willis Towers Watson appointed the overall investment manager.

Today, chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin says:

The last two years have seen considerable change for Alliance Trust and we are very appreciative of the strength of support shareholders have shown. With a clear course of direction and a settled shareholder register, we believe that Alliance Trust is now well placed for the future. The clear focus of the Board and Willis Towers Watson, the new investment manager, is to generate a real return for shareholders through a combination of capital growth and rising dividends.

The investment house noted that 2016 provided the 50th consecutive year of dividend increases, with a rise of 16.4 per cent on 2015 to 12.774p.

Shares were little changed on Friday in response.

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