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Evening Standard: "BMO’s man fries 'Bay of Pigs' Hammerson boss David Atkins on struggles"

David Atkins and the rest of the Hammerson board

"Marcus Phayre-Mudge, a fund manager at BMO Global Asset Management, probably won’t be on the Christmas card list of Hammerson boss David Atkins, after attacking the property company's valuations in the analyst presentation at its strategy update this week.

" 'You are right in the middle of a massive storm here and it is not helpful to play down he impact on the market... I think it is time for you guys to be open with your shareholders and say it is going to be very difficult,' said Phayre-Mudge. A bristling Atkins assured him: 'you'll be pleased with the sale prices' of some of the assets on the block.

"But the fund manager had the final word, comparing Hammerson’s failed merger with Intu to the CIA's disastrously botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. Nice.

"Atkins isn't worried about his job. 'I'm very confident I'll still be talking to you for many years to come,' he tells Spy, in what could be 2018's top hostage to fortune so far."

Evening Standard: City Spy, Thursday 26 July

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