Proxy firm Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) has advised shareholders to oppose a controversial Ashmore Investments' proposal over concerns that chief executive Mark Coombs could take "creeping control" of the company.
The share buyback proposal, which will be voted on at the fund house's annual general meeting on Friday, could increase Coombs shareholding from 38.61 per cent to 40.65 per cent without having to pay a takeover premium.
Pirc said: "Such waiver raises concerns about potential creeping control of the company.
"This resolution would only be supported if the concert party is committed not to increase its percentage holding in the company, which is not the case. On this basis, an oppose vote is recommended."
Pirc is the second advisor to speak out over the plans after Institutional Shareholder Services said it recommended a vote against the proposals.
Ashmore has put in place measures to ensure it would take more than five years for Coombs' stake to reach 50 per cent, and Glass Lewis, another major proxy advisor, has recommended that shareholders approve the proposals.
Pirc has also advised shareholders to oppose the remuneration report and the re-election of independent non-executive director Clive Adamson over claims he has not addressed the opposition to the 2017 remuneration report.
On the remuneration report, Pirc said that Coombs' pay for the year under review is "considered highly excessive" at 1016 per cent of salary.
City A.M. has contacted Ashmore for comment.