Rebel member of Standard Life David Stonebanks will ask eligible voting members attending the annual general meeting in Edinburgh today to back the proposed candidates for the board of directors rather than elect himself.
Details of the AGM voting pack and summary financial statement reveal there are still two independent candidates standing for election onto the Standard Life board of directors ahead of next year’s demutualisation vote – Michael Hogan and David Stonebanks.
But in a surprising written address to members, Stonebanks has asked policyholders to “back those recommended by the board” as he believes the knowledge and experience now offered by the proposed board members is “far too valuable to be tossed aside at this time by amateurs”.
This is despite his earlier campaign to get onto the board of directors as he believed the company was not acting in the best interests of its members.
Stonebanks had also earlier tried to table a resolution to demutualise the life assurer, but was then pipped at the post by Standard Life last March when the company itself declared the company thought it in the best interests of members to vote for a flotation on the London Stock Exchange.
Today’s AGM meeting - which began at 11am - will see members vote on whether to approve the financial report for 2004, as well as appoint six members to the board who will prepare the company for the 2006 demutualisation vote.
Those candidates approved by the board include the re-election of Sandy Crombie, group chief executive and three colleagues, alongside two new members of the board, recently-appointed chief executive of UK life and pensions, Trevor Matthews, and Kent Atkinson, who previously served on the board of two companies as they went through demutualisation.
Among the independent candidates standing for election is Mike Hogan, who has a background in financial services and corporate finance.
Hogan says he is standing to see members get “the best possible deal” as members “who have taken real losses need to see for themselves that everything is being done to claw back value”.IFAonline
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