Schroders prepares for AGM backlash

AGM Annual general meetingSchroders’ first quarter results showing inflows of £2.7 billion (€3.4 billion) have been overshadowed by the furore surrounding Michael Dobson’s appointment as chair of the firm.

Despite positive financial results for the UK-based asset manager – which has achieved its highest level of assets under management with £324.9 billion in a difficult market – the appointment of Dobson, the firm’s former CEO, as chair of the firm looks set to dominate its AGM.

Hermes Investment Management, a corporate governance activist investor, opposes the appointment saying it breaches a fundamental principle of UK corporate governance. “A CEO should not become chair of the company,” said Hermes in statement.

Hermes was not the only opponent of Dobson’s appointment. Three shareholder advisory groups — Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis, and Pension & Investment Research Consultants — are all recommending investors to vote against the motion.

In a separate matter, Hermes has voted against remuneration increases for board members of pharmaceutical company Shire, engineering firm Weir Group and energy firm Tullow Oil. The latter firm wanted to award its board members bonuses despite the share price plummeting 80% in the last three years.

Schroders’ AGM takes place today.

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