Investor joins Healthways board

Wellness services company fills spot vacated by co-founder last month

Facing a stiff challenge from one of its largest shareholders, Healthways has added a longtime investor to its board.

Dan Englander has been named a director of Franklin-based Healthways, effective immediately. Englander, 44, is the founder and managing partner of New York-based Ursula Capital Partners and has been an owner of Healthways shares since 2005. He fills the seat vacated abruptly by company co-founder Tom Cigarran a month ago and will be up for election this spring, when Healthways investors will consider the proxy contest initiated by hedge fund North Tide Capital, which owns 11 percent of Healthways.

“Dan brings an experienced independent investor and financial perspective to our Board,” said John Ballantine, chairman of Healthways' board. “He [...] knows our business well and understands the markets for our well-being improvement solutions. We look forward to working with him as he provides additional strategic, financial and public markets insight into the Board’s deliberations.”

Englander founded Ursula in 2004 after working as a managing director and partner at investment banking firm Allen & Co. for more than a decade. He also is a director at public companies America’s Car-Mart and Copart. The two vehicles managed by Ursula have about $50 million in assets.

Shares of Healthways (Ticker: HWAY) ended last week at $16.02 and have climbed 17 percent over the past three months.