MARKS & Spencer is bracing itself for an investor revolt for the second year in a row when shareholders gather for the retailer’s annual meeting today.
A number of influential shareholder bodies have backed a resolution urging M&S to split the roles of chairman and chief executive currently held by Sir Stuart Rose.
It is expected that between 20 and 30 per cent of investors will vote in favour of the resolution, with a significant number of absentions on top.
However, the retailer is confident that the resolution will not get the 75 per cent votes it needs to become binding. In this case it will become advisory, and it is highly likely that M&S will ignore the calls from shareholders.
The M&S board could also face big opposition to its remuneration report and accounts and the re-election of non-executive director Louise Patten, the chairman of the remuneration committee, given concerns raised over share bonuses.
Rose last week waived his entitlement to more than £1m in shares . At the time he said: “The board is acutely aware of the governance issues we face and the importance of good shareholder relations.”