Institutional shareholder Royal London Asset Management is set to vote against the re-election of Mike Ashley, founder and deputy chairman of Sports Direct, at the company’s annual general meeting this week.
Royal London’s head of corporate governance, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, is widely quoted by the media stating the investor had lost confidence in the board and saying it suffered from a long list of “failings”.
The Guardian quotes Claxton as saying: “We have lost confidence in the board and are very concerned about the long list of corporate governance failings that have not been addressed.”
Meanwhile, The Financial Times says Royal London’s confidence has been lost because Mike Ashley has failed to attend four unscheduled board meetings.
Sports Direct describes Ashley as “executive deputy chairman” sitting between the chairman Dr Keith Hellawell, a former chief constable of two UK police forces, and chief executive Dave Forsey.
A statement on the company’s website says: “The Board has reviewed the Company’s corporate governance processes and policies, and has concluded that during the 52 weeks ended 27 April 2014 (the year) the Company complied with the provisions of the Code.”
It adds: “The Board is satisfied that currently no one Director exercises a disproportionate influence.”