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Activist shareholder steps down from Argo board

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J. Daniel Plants: activist shareholder steps down from board of directors of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd (File photograph)

Daniel Plants, the activist shareholder who secured a place on the board of directors of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd, has stepped down from the post.

Mr Plants, who was chairman of Argo’s strategic review committee, is the founder and chief investment officer of Voce Capital Management LLC, Argo’s largest shareholder.

He was appointed to the board on August 4, 2022.

Last Wednesday, Argo announced that it entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Brookfield Reinsurance will acquire Argo in an all-cash transaction valued at $30 per common share.

Reuters reported last August that Voce owned 9.5 per cent of Argo’s shares and has been invested since 2018. Mr Plants had previously pushed Argo to overhaul the board and in 2020 the company added three new directors.

In connection with the transaction, Voce entered into a voting and support agreement whereby Voce agreed to vote all of the common shares held by it in favour of the merger and take certain other actions, subject to the terms and conditions of the voting and support agreement.

The Brookfield acquisition follows the closing, on February 2, of the sale of Argo Underwriting Agency Limited and its Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 to Westfield, which had been announced last September.

Mr Plants said: “Last week’s announcement that Argo will be acquired by Brookfield Reinsurance concludes an intense, and productive, six months since I joined the board with the stated purpose of assisting in these crucial endeavours.

“Following the successful completion of Argo’s strategic review process, which resulted in a transaction that maximises value for all shareholders, now is the right time for me to relinquish my board seat so that I may redirect my efforts to other priorities. I wish my board colleagues, and the entire Argo team, all the best in their onward journey.”

Argo Group headquarters in Hamilton (Photograph by David Fox)

Thomas A. Bradley, Argo’s executive chairman and chief executive, said: "Since joining the board and assuming the role of chairman of the strategic review committee last year, Dan has been instrumental in helping Argo successfully execute its strategic review process.

“On behalf of the entire board, I would like to express our appreciation for his leadership throughout his tenure on the board and his insights and support over the years as a long-time Argo shareholder."

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Published February 15, 2023 at 7:51 am (Updated February 15, 2023 at 7:51 am)

Activist shareholder steps down from Argo board

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