May 25, 2022 | Editor: Martin Wennerström
Woodside shareholders approve BHP deal
Woodside Petroleum’s 2022 AGM has approved the company’s merger with BHP Group’s petroleum business. The merged entity will change its name to Woodside Energy Group Ltd. and will be one of the world’s largest fossil fuel energy producers. The business combination, expected to be completed in June, is billed as a step in BHP’s exit from the fossil fuel industry and eventual decarbonization. Current BHP shareholders will hold a 48% stake in the new joint venture. Meanwhile, around 49% of votes were cast against an advisory resolution on the company’s climate plan, with Woodside Chairman Richard Goyder later remarking that the company needs to step up its shareholder engagement concerning its alignment with Paris Agreement goals.
Intel AGM rejects executive compensation resolution
JP Morgan shareholders say no to executive retention bonuses
Around 69% of votes at JP Morgan’s 2022 AGM dissented against the firm’s executive compensation vote. Major proxy advisers had recommended opposition to the resolution, based on a lack of performance criteria attached to executives’ retention bonuses. Stock awards valued at USD 52.6 million for CEO Jamie Dimon and USD 27.8 million for COO Daniel Pinto will vest based on continuous employment for a five-year period and an additional five-year retention period. The firm argues that the CEO’s retention award was an exceptional incentive, the first in more than a decade that reflects his “exemplary leadership.”
Credit Suisse investors call for a new CEO
Artisan Partners, a top 10 shareholder in Credit Suisse holding 1.5% of equity, is the first major investor to call for the replacement of CEO Thomas Gottstein. Gottstein is the last senior executive who has remained with the company following a series of controversy-fueled terminations over the past few years. The board of directors had reportedly held preliminary discussions concerning the possibility of replacing Gottstein earlier this month. While new Chairman Axel Lehmann has described the reports as “rumors and speculations,” other board members are reportedly losing confidence in Gottstein as CEO.
Governance in Brief – June 1, 2023
Citigroup to IPO Banamex after Mexican gov’t interventions hamper sales deal Citigroup has announced a plan to spin off its Mexican business, Banamex, after a failure to sell the unit to conglomerate Grupo Mexico. Citigroup had been in talks with German Larrea, CEO and Chairman of Grupo Mexico, for over a year in an attempt to orchestrate the sale of the bank, which was first announced at the start of 2022.
Governance in Brief – May 25, 2023
Activist investor pushes for leadership and strategy changes at NRG Energy Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has disclosed a 13% stake in the US-based NRG Energy and called for leadership and operational changes at the company to remedy its “meaningful underperformance.” The investor urged NRG to add independent directors with experience in the power and energy sector to its board, noting that it has already identified five executives to guide the operational and strategic changes.
Governance in Brief – May 19, 2023
EU court sides with Ryanair on Lufthansa’s 2020 bailout. The EU General Court, the second-highest court in the EU, has annulled the European Commission’s decision on the approval of state bailout for Deutsche Lufthansa prompted by the 2020 pandemic. The judgment found the EC erroneously considered that Lufthansa could not obtain financing on the markets and failed to ask for the implementation of an incentive mechanism for the airline to buy back the German Government’s stake.
Governance in Brief – May 11, 2023
JPMorgan Chase takes over failed First Republic Bank JPMorgan Chase has acquired the assets and deposits of First Republic Bank after California authorities seized and auctioned the troubled lender. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), an independent governmental agency established to maintain financial stability through the insurance of banks’ deposits, took possession of First Republic Bank after the lender suffered a severe liquidity crisis following the failure of SVB and Signature Bank earlier in March.