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Elliot Associates to nominate execs to Hess Corp board

Hedge fund Elliot Associates is planning to nominate five executives to the board of Hess Corp as it looks to force a break up of the US oil and gas company.

Activist investor Elliott, which currently own about four per cent of Hess, believes that breaking up Hess will boost returns for shareholders.

"We are convinced that tremendous value is trapped inside the company as a result of poor oversight by a board of directors lacking both the experience and independence to set a clear, shareholder-focused, value-creating strategy," Elliott wrote in a letter to Hess.

Hess has revealed that it was notified by Elliot that the hedge fund was seeking US regulatory clearance to acquire more than USD800m in Hess shares and nominate candidates for election to the board. The candidates are Rodney F Chase, former deputy chief executive of BP; Harvey Golub, former chief executive of American Express; Karl F Kurz, former chief operating officer of Anadarko Petroleum; David McManus, former executive vice president of Pioneer Natural Resources; and Marshall D Smith, chief financial officer of Ultra Petroleum.

Hess has subsequently announced plans to exit storage and refining areas of its operations and focus on exploration and production activity.

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