Affiliated Managers Group and Friess Associates reached an agreement resolving the Friess 401(k) plan's proxy statement urging shareholders to reject subadviser changes in two AMG mutual funds.
The statement had been made in connection with the upcoming special meeting for shareholders of the AMG Boston Common Global Impact Fund and AMG Veritas Global Real Return Fund on May 18. Friess Associates, a former AMG affiliate until an employee buyout in 2013, had been terminated as a subadviser of both funds.
As part of the settlement agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, Friess Associates agreed to withdraw the proxy statement, use all shares in support of all proposals and dismiss pending litigation against AMG in the Superior Court of Massachusetts for Suffolk County, according to an SEC filing Monday from AMG Funds.
Affiliated Managers Group hired Boston Common Asset Management to replace Friess Associates as subadviser of AMG Boston Common Global Impact Fund (previously the AMG Managers Brandywine Fund) and hired Veritas Asset Management to replace Friess as subadviser of the AMG Veritas Global Real Return Fund (previously the AMG Managers Brandywine Blue Fund), according to March 22 SEC filings.
The Friess Associates LLC 401(k) Retirement Plan, which is the beneficial owner of 119,917.742 and 43,394.539 shares, respectively, of the funds, issued the statement because it said that AMG's board has "drastically altered" investment objectives and strategies, that AMG benefits more from fee savings than shareholders, that they are being managed without shareholder approval, and that AMG's board made and disclosed its decision "in a highly irregular manner," according to an April 15 news release from Friess Associates.
A Friess Associates spokesman said: “We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to continuing to serve Brandywine investors through our new funds.”
An AMG spokesman declined to comment.