Sunday, 26 July 2009

Last week's votes

There were a couple of interesting (honest) AGM votes last week. First up Tory-funding investment trust Caledonia Investments once again passed a resolution authorising spending shareholders' money bankrolling Conservative campaigns in marginal seats. The resolution attracted over 18% against (AGM results available here as a PDF), plus marginal abstentions, which was slightly up on last year. But the important thing to remember is that the Cayzer family have a controlling stake of (from memory) about 50%, so a sizeable proportion of the free float voted against. However still a large block voted in favour, so I will be posting up the names of fund managers backing Tory donations once some data is available. As I pointed out previously, it's possible that a part-state owned asset manager supported this...

Secondly, I had to have a bit of a chuckle at the result at Yell where almost 30% voted against the remuneration report. Yell had been telling journos last week that investors were behind the remuneration policy. The interesting point to note is that under one of the harsh diktats laid down by the Walker Review, if the remuneration report at a BOFI gets more than a 25% vote against then the chair of remuneration committee should stand for re-election annually. And this is one of those recommendations where there is no good reason why it should not apply more widely, so I expect to see it in the FRC's next announcement on the Code. Which would mean Yell's rem chair will have to face an annual vote (unless they 'explain' why they aren't complying with this guidance of course).

UPDATE: Actually I made a mistake on Walker, the report doesn't say rem chairs should face annual elections if the report gets under 75% (of "total votes cast" btw, which might imply abstentions don't count), it says they should stand for re-election the next year. And having looked at Yell it seems that the current rem committee chair is already on an annual re-election cycle.

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