Qatar SWF backs VW management

The Qatar sovereign wealth fund and the Porsche family were reported to have sided with Volkswagen management to fend off resolutions from angry shareholders at the company’s AGM yesterday.

Hermes, the fund manager owned by the British Telecom pension scheme, was one of the shareholders calling for a corporate governance shake-up at the firm following the scandal where the car manufacturer used software to rig emissions tests in 11 million cars.

But shareholders endorsed proposals to ratify the actions of VW’s two boards in 2015, according to Reuters, which reported that top shareholders “closed ranks” behind senior management.

According to Reuters, the state of Lower Saxony – another of the company’s top three shareholders – abstained on ratifying actions of former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and VW brand chief Herbert Diess as they are subject to a probe by state prosecutors. VW is based in Lower Saxony.

Media reports, including in the Guardian, suggest there was little sign yesterday of any corporate governance change at the firm, where the vast majority of shares are held by the three top shareholders.

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