Merian Global Investors' CEO Richard Buxton has voted against Edward Bramson's bid for a seat on the board of Barclays, as the bank tries to fight off an attack from the activist investor.
Buxton, a leading investor in Barclays, said the bank does "not need a hostile disruptor in their midst, arguing on false numbers against their execution of the existing strategy to improve returns, for his own short-term ends", according to The Times.
He adds his voice to David Cumming, CIO at Aviva Investors, who also said he would side with Barclays, despite supporting Bramson in the past.
Merian and Aviva collectively own 0.3% of the bank, while Aviva also has a 14% holding in Bramson's Sherborne Investors.
Last year, The Telegraph reported that Barclays Bank was understood to be drawing up plans to help defeat a possible attack from Bramson, who has built up a 5% stake in the lender.
According to the paper, Barclays chiefs had conducted research on Bramson's past tactics, after consulting with City figures who have had contact with the investor in the past.
They were understood to have built up contingency plans with advisers at Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan.
Jes Staley, Barclays CEO, was also said to be prepared to meet Bramson if a meeting is requested, while the group was confident it could hold off any attack by Sherborne. Barclays declined to comment on the story.
It was revealed in March 2018 that Bramson, who founded Sherborne Investors, had taken a 5.2% stake in Barclays, which equates to £580m in shares and derivatives and puts it on the list of top five shareholders.
In a statement, Sherborne said: "Sherborne Investors has advised the company that its turnaround assumptions indicate a potential return on the investment in line with Sherborne Investors' customary return objectives."
Bramson has not yet revealed his plans for the bank, but speculation has been building that a break-up or restructuring is on the cards. This could include spinning out the investment bank or selling its US cards business, The Telegraph reports.
The investor has a history of activism in financial services companies. For example, he began building a stake in the Electra investment trust in March 2014 and joined the board in 2015. He then became interim chief executive in May 2016 and implemented a number of changes on the vehicle.
Bramson also previously held a 19% stake in F&C (now BMO Global Asset Management) and was chairman of the board. During his time, he made a raft of cost-cutting measures that helped to improve profits.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said at the time: "Sherborne has built a formidable reputation for squeezing improved financial and operational performance from the companies in which it invests and Bramson clearly feels that Barclays shares are going cheap, given the prevailing discount to the book, or net asset value.
"The question now is what the activist investor thinks Barclays should be doing differently and how he intends to get those views across to the bank's boss, Jes Staley."