Murdochs face more calls to step down as AGM looms
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Saturday 15 October 2011
The pressure on Rupert and James Murdoch to resign from the board of News Corporation intensified yesterday after a respected shareholder group, which oversees $140bn in assets, called on them to quit.
Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which is owned by and adviser to the BT pension scheme, yesterday demanded a "genuinely independent chair" at News Corp and called for family members to be replaced with "credible outside directors".
The group said it had been in contact with News Corp "for some time" but since the phone-hacking allegations this year "it has stepped up its engagement in relation to board composition".
Among its demands were the appointment of an independent group to conduct an investigation "and report findings publicly". It has also withdrawn support from board members Lachlan Murdoch, Arthur Siskind and Andrew Knight.
While Hermes clients together own slightly less than 0.5 per cent of News Corp stock, this adds more weight to the growing shareholder unrest. Last week, the Local Authority Pension Forum, which represents £100bn in assets under management, called for an overhaul of the board to "draw a line under the hacking".
This was followed only days later by a similar call by proxy advisers ISS, which advises 1,700 investors. Rival proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis also recommended investors to vote against six directors including James and Lachlan Murdoch.
Jennifer Walmsley, director of Hermes EOS, said yesterday that the group had "not reacted with sufficient urgency to investor concerns" adding: "The time is right for the company to appoint an independent chairman to rebuild trust."
But the Murdoch family owns 40 per cent of the voting stock of the company, which will make it tough for investors to oust board members at the AGM.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...