Activist investor Sir Chris Hohn will not attend a London Stock Exchange (LSE) shareholder vote tomorrow which he himself requested, according to reports.
Hohn requested the meeting last month to remove chairman Donald Brydon, after accusing him of forcing out former chief executive Xavier Rolet, but will not attend in person, Reuters reported.
Investors meet tomorrow at midday at a Southwark hotel in order to vote, although as much as two-thirds of the vote is likely to have been submitted already to meet a deadline for proxy voting on Saturday.
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Brydon and other members of the board are expected to attend the meeting, at which they will face questions from shareholders.
Investors have lined up on either side, with a split between the public leanings of large institutional investors and smaller hedge funds, although most City insiders believe it unlikely The Children’s Investment (TCI) fund, a five per cent shareholder run by Hohn, can win the vote at this stage.
Prominent investors to have backed the London Stock Exchange include Blackrock, the Qatar Investment Authority, and Standard Life Aberdeen.
Investor advisers Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services have also said removing Brydon would harm the FTSE 100 firm as it ploughs ahead with appointing a new chief executive. The LSE has already carried out multiple preliminary interviews with prospective candidates.
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However, on the other side Egerton Capital and Lone Pine Capital will back Hohn’s campaign. Pensions and Investment Research Consultants, another proxy adviser, has recommended shareholders abstain in protest at the “governance crisis” at the LSE.
Rolet was forced to resign with immediate effect at the start of November after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said he thought it inconceivable the chief executive could stay on after the LSE had already put in place a succession plan.
The LSE had previously planned to let Rolet continue to run the firm until the end of 2018. The company is now being led by interim chief executive David Warren. Brydon will also leave the firm in 2019, meaning he will still oversee the appointment of the new chief executive.
TCI declined to comment.
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