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Investors reject Slattery's options deal for directors

Business

Megaport shareholders have ignored their chairman Bevan Slattery and rejected the company’s plan to hand three directors 100,000 options each.

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The plan was put to the annual general meeting in October last year and voted down by shareholders, but Slattery, as Megaport’s chairman, pleaded with investors to ignore proxy advisors and grant the package at an extraordinary general meeting today.

Proxy advisers had recommended against the deal and it was rejected in each case by a vote of about 55 per cent to 45 per cent.

It’s not the first time Slattery has taken on the proxy advisers and institutional investors who follow their recommendations. He first labelled proxy advisers as “toxic to the Australian Stock Exchange and the culture” in 2018.

Slattery told an extraordinary general meeting that it was putting the request in front of shareholders again because the company believed it was important to attract and retain the top talent that was critical to move the organisation into the next stage of growth.

“Having board members that are security holders ensures that they have an active interest in the achievements of the organisation and ultimately increasing the value of the company over time,” Slattery said.

“Our concerns as a board is that the rigid governance rules apply restrictions on our ability to do this effectively and which ultimately hinders our ability to achieve our goals and objectives.

“Does voting down the grant of options … mitigate any risk that they fail to exercise their duty to express views on the board because they are concerned their options may not vest?

“No, (the three directors) are industry professionals with track records of success and valuable reputations.”

He said the amount of options was not unreasonable.

“We also fear that the implications will carry on and have a far greater impact than just this situation as it has the potential to impact Megaport’s ability to attract and retain expert directors in the future,” he said.

 

 

 

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