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Glass Lewis urges vote against Deutsche Boerse board actions
April 25, 2017 / 7:31 PM / 8 months ago

Glass Lewis urges vote against Deutsche Boerse board actions

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Influential proxy adviser Glass Lewis has recommended shareholders in Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) vote against ratifying the actions of the management and supervisory board at the exchange’s 2017 annual general meeting.

A notebook with the logo of Deutsche Boerse Group (German stock exchange) is pictured before their New Year's reception at the headquarters in Eschborn, outside Frankfurt, Germany, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

German companies typically ask their shareholders to approve the actions of their boards over the previous years at the annual shareholder meetings.

Glass Lewis said in a recommendation that shareholders may have concerns over the failed merger with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) and due to a pending investigation into CEO Carsten Kengeter over possible insider trading.

Kengeter denies the allegations, and has said that he and the company are cooperating fully with the public prosecutor.

Glass Lewis said shareholders may question management’s performance in light of failing to make contingency plans for Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in the merger documents.

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote - RTSVX5R

On the investigation into Kengeter, it said it believed shareholders should be given the chance to vote on individual management board members rather than the board as whole.

“We are unaware of any specific evidence that Mr. Kengeter contravened insider trading regulations, but considering the ongoing nature and potential consequences of a negative outcome of investigations, we do not believe that shareholders can confidently determine whether approval of this proposal is in their best interests at this time,” it wrote.

    The recommendation was first reported by German daily Handelsblatt.

    Deutsche Boerse declined to comment.

    The AGM takes place on May 17.

    Reporting by Andreas Kroner and John O'Donnell; Writing by Victoria Bryan; editing by Susan Thomas

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