More senior investment advisers have come out against Volkswagen’s board prior to its AGM tomorrow.
Hermes Investment Management’s stewardship team is calling on shareholders of the carmaker to vote against new nominations to its supervisory board. Marianne Heiss and Wolfgang Porsche are set for election.
The appointments “will result in a board with almost zero independent representation, which clearly goes against good corporate governance practice”, according to Hermes EOS associate director of responsibility Dr Michael Viehs.
He said that Volkswagen is three years on from the emissions scandal, but has still failed to put in place a board that is independent and improves its governance.
“For us, as shareholder representatives, this casts doubt on whether the supervisory board has really understood that a governance overhaul remains paramount in the light of the emissions scandal,” he added.
Dr Viehs called on Volkswagen to undertake a “systematic, independent review and analysis of the role culture played” in the emissions scandal.
Last month Glass Lewis also called on investors to vote against motions from the AGM—including all-but-one of the 20-strong supervisory board. It said Volkswagen had failed to represent shareholders during the ongoing investigations into the scandal.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller stepped down two weeks ago and was replaced by its brand chief Herbert Dress. Müller took on the top role when the scandal broke in 2015, following the departure of Martin Winterkom.