ALLIANCE Trust has parted company with its head of equities Ilario di Bon after coming under performance pressures.

It said he had "stepped down ... in order to pursue other opportunities".

Peter Michaelis, who joined Alliance in 2012 as head of the former Aviva SRI (socially responsible investment) team, is to take over, "leading a single equity investment team under the direction of the trust's chief executive and chief investment officer Katherine Garrett-Cox," Alliance said.

Simon Clements,former head of global equities at Aviva Investors, will be responsible for the management of Alliance Trust's equity portfolio.

Ms Garrett-Cox said: "We wish Ilario well for the future. These changes will enable us to capitalise on the long track record and experience of the whole team.

"They will also allow us to promote an integrated and responsible investment ­strategy which we believe is a necessity, and no longer a choice, in today's world."

Mr di Bon led the ­restructuring of the Alliance Trust portfolio two years ago, cutting the portfolio in half, and merging four regional equity portfolios into one as three funds were closed.

However, in March this year Alliance Trust fell into the bottom half of its peer group after exposure to the US and some poor stock selection weighed on it during last year's stock market surge.

The trust's total net asset value return of 18.4 per cent for 2013 placed it in the third quartile of global investment trusts.

But Ms Garrett-Cox said the longer term record was "very strong".